Berri: Shiites could be the next assassination targets

berri slams charbelParliament Speaker Nabih Berri described Lebanon as a “psychiatric hospital,” warning that the next assassination target could be an official from the Shiite sect in an attempt to widen the divide between Muslims and create strife.

Berri expressed fears in remarks to As Safir daily published on Tuesday that a Shiite personality would be targeted in the aftermath of the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah, a Sunni .

Such an attempt is aimed at hinting that the Sunnis are avenging Chatah’s murder, he said.

Berri warned that such attacks would widen the differences between Sunnis and Shiites and lead to sectarian strife.

As Safir reported that Berri has asked his Amal movement’s security official Ahmed al-Baalbaki to be on alert to confront the dangers.

Mourners chanting anti-Hezbollah slogans laid to rest former Lebanese minister Mohamad Chatah on Sunday after he was killed by a car bomb his allies blame on the powerful Shi’ite group.

Friday’s attack on Chatah, a Sunni who was a vocal critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese ally Hezbollah, has once again stoked sectarian enmities exacerbated by the spillover of Syria’s conflict.

“There is no God but God and Hezbollah is the enemy of God,” mourners chanted as Chatah’s coffin – draped in green and gold cloth – was carried to a central Beirut mosque.

Chatah’s Future movement and other Sunni groups support the largely Sunni Muslim rebel movement fighting to topple Assad. Iranian-backed Hezbollah has sent its fighters to help Assad, who is from the Alawite offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

The burial of Chatah reflected Lebanon’s tensions.

Fait accompli cabinet

The speaker also warned against the formation of a fait accompli government after hints by President Michel Suleiman that such a move would be made soon.

“Any cabinet that comes from outside national consensus, whether it was neutral or not, would lead to dangerous repercussions,” Berri warned

“Such a unilateral move would abolish the presidential elections,” Berri also warned.

Hezbollah officials have also made similar warnings. The Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance is calling for the formation of a government in which it would get nine ministers along with March 14 and centrists would get six.

But the March 14 camp is sticking to its demand for a non-partisan government.

“Any attempt to impose a government (line-up) on others would automatically lead to a total freeze” in ties between the rival parties, Berri told As Safir.

“This way, there won’t be any appropriate atmosphere to hold the presidential elections,” he said.

Any attempt to form a neutral cabinet should be preceded by new consultations between the president and parliamentary blocs to choose another prime minister, Berri said.

“Premier-designate Tammam Salam is not neutral,” he said, adding that he is part of the March 14 alliance.

“He should give up his task and hold new parliamentary consultations if a non partisan cabinet is to be formed,” Berri said.

“The government cannot be imposed on us no matter what its size or form is,” he warned.

The speaker stressed that he would work to hold the presidential elections on time.

“I will exert all efforts to guarantee the election of a new president within the deadline” set by the Constitution, he said.

Suleiman’s six-year term ends in May 2014. The Constitution sets March 25 as the start of parliamentary sessions to elect a new head of state.

  • 5thDrawer

    a “psychiatric hospital,” … Well, he got something right. :-)))

    So … How about allowing the United Nations to formulate a system of government, and picking the first batch of parliamentarians, with only a ‘speaker of the house’ (Who needs a president?) to adjudicate the ‘dialogues’ on various laws designed to allow people to function, FOR the country. With a mind to have equality and freedom of speech, of course, and equal education.
    First ‘vote’ four years later.
    Call it ‘Leb-Refresh’.
    Imagine – as it wants to be ‘unique’, and is now with that ‘confessional’ stupidity – that it could be the only country in the world with complete neutrality, protected by the rest of the world against any incursion and totally free of weapons – and all the army people become ‘service’ people cleaning up the garbage, the last of the land-mines, the stinking rivers, Mt Sidon; planting trees, cleaning the beaches … tourists would flock to the place in DROVES.

    • 5th ass

      You are GOOD !

    • nagy_michael2

      Maybe the Shiites leader should have focused on being the true resistance instead of occupiers than we all would love them and respect them. “oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.”

  • 5thDrawer

    a “psychiatric hospital,” … Well, he got something right. :-)))

    So … How about allowing the United Nations to formulate a system of government, and picking the first batch of parliamentarians, with only a ‘speaker of the house’ to adjudicate the ‘dialogues’ on various laws designed to allow people to function, FOR the country.

    • 5th ass

      You are GOOD !

    • nagy_michael2

      Maybe the Shiites leader should have focused on being the true resistance instead of occupiers than we all would love them and respect them. “oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.”

  • Tk

    By looking at his picture , I think he need some psychiatric help

    • bypest

      It was probably selected for this reason. There are plenty of pictures where he doesn’t look as if he saying hello to the grim reaper.

      • 5thDrawer

        It’s the one taken when he was standing at the back of the ‘chamber’, mostly being ignored, saying ‘Hello . Hellooo … I’m here … hellooooo’. :-))
        But everyone was concentrating on the guy at the front dialling a phone ….
        ‘Allo?? Akbar? … Allo ??? … (damn these phone connections) … ALLOOO??’

    • 5th ass

      TK I agree – he fears his A$$ on the line!

    • The real lebanese

      Is it just me, or would he make a good clown?

  • Tk

    By looking at his picture , I think he need some psychiatric help

    • bypest

      The picture was probably selected for this reason. There are plenty of pictures where he doesn’t look as if he saying hello to the grim reaper.

      • 5thDrawer

        It’s the one taken when he was standing at the back of the ‘chamber’, mostly being ignored, saying ‘Hello . Hellooo … I’m here … hellooooo’.

    • 5th ass

      TK I agree – he fears his A$$ on the line!

    • The real lebanese

      Is it just me, or would he make a good clown?

  • Reasonableman

    Thats all this guy and m8 ever do, create theories of how they believe things will play out and sincerly believe in what they say. Thus they live in fear, fear of what though? Fear of losing their weapons that is their fear, everybody who has stood up or spoken up about their weapons has been , slandered, assassinated or tortured.

    Reguardless of any other persons opinion they think they are right because they fear their lies be uncovered thus acting in a way to protect their own assets. reguardless of the consequences others will pay for.
    Its time for these presumptions (from ALL politicians) to be kept silent once and for all, state only facts thus creating a system which actually works, instead of being spread thing bending over backwards trying to kiss the ass of whoever has more money.

  • Reasonableman

    Thats all this guy and m8 ever do, create theories of how they believe things will play out and sincerly believe in what they say. Thus they live in fear, fear if what though? Free of losing their weapons that is their fear, everybody who has stood up or spoken up about their weapons has been , slandered, assassinated or tortured.

    Reguardless of any other persons opinion they think they are right.
    Its time for these presumptions (from ALL politicians) to be kept silent once and for all, state only facts this creating a system which actually works, instead of being spread thing bending over backwards trying to kiss the ass of whoever has more money.

  • Guest

    They were chanting anti-Hezbollah not anti-Amal at the funeral. However, by saying such remarks, he is inviting negative attention to himself. Does he want to make himself the second most wanted man in Lebanon after the hiding Nasrallah is the first most wanted man in Lebanon?

  • Guest

    They were chanting anti-Hezbollah not anti-Amal at the funeral. However, by saying such remarks, he is inviting negative attention to himself. Does he want to make himself the second most wanted man in Lebanon after the hiding Nasrallah is the first most wanted man in Lebanon?

  • Patience2

    Well, they DO favour suicide!

  • Patience2

    Well, they DO favour suicide!

  • Fauzia45

    How can rival parties form a government ??!!

  • Fauzia45

    How can rival parties form a government ??!!