Protests continue to rock Lebanon. Thousands of angry protesters burned tires and blocked roads across Lebanon on Tuesday after Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah secured the appointment of its candidate to lead the next government.
The protests were part of a “day of anger” called by supporters of Hariri to protest against Hezbollah which is funded and supported by Tehran.
The biggest protest took place in Mikati’s hometown, the northern city of Tripoli where medical sources said 20 people were treated for injuries and protesters set fire to a satellite truck used by the Qatar based television channel Al Jazeera.
The nomination of Najib Mikati as prime minister, endorsed by President Michel Suleiman, is seen a victory for Hezbollah, which secured the parliamentary votes needed to wrest control of the Lebanese government.
Caretaker PM Saad Hariri said yesterday that the Future Movement will refuse to participate in any government headed by the candidate of the Hezbollah-led March 8alliance
He also said “that all the talk of ( Mikati being ) a compromise candidate is an attempt to throw dust in the eyes…. there is no such thing as consensus candidate”
Lebanese president Michel Suleiman will reportedly refuse to sign off on any one color cabinet that is not a national unity government , according to presidential sources, but Speaker Nabih Berri, Hezbollah Shiite key ally revealed that Mikati once officially designated will form a national salvation government instead of a national unity government, after the announcement of the Future Movement and the March 14 that they will refuse to join any government that is not headed by Hariri .
Hariri calls for calm
Outgoing Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the rioting and called on protesters to restrain themselves in a speech to the nation on Tuesday afternoon.
“When you decided to call for a ‘day of rage’, your motive was the expression of a democratic stance, which we believe is a peaceful path that we cannot abandon,” Hariri told protesters.
Hariri warned his supporters not to fall prey to incitement, asking them “not to give anyone an excuse to take to the streets.”
“Our goal is not power, nor is it the premiership. Rather, our goal is always to protect the state from hegemony.”
“Today you are responsible for Lebanon’s safety and the safety of coexistence among the Lebanese.” He said