Suleiman faces strong opposition over dialogue committee issues


dialogue table  0916 -rectangularLebanese president Michel Suleiman announced the list of participants in the new national dialogue talks yesterday , but immediately the list was challenged by both rival camps , March 14 and March 8.

Here are the key concerns:

Zahle representative: Suleiman picked Professor Fayez al-Hajj Chahine as Zahle’s representative , but “Zahle in the Heart” , the parliamentary bloc that won the elections last June issued a statement in which it condemned Suleiman’s decision. It urged the President to reconsider his decision by appointing someone from Zahle in the Heart.

Arab League: March 14 wants the League represented at the talks.

March 14 General Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soueid told An Nahar:

“March 14 will demand Arab League participation in dialogue sessions to ensure the interest of the Arab system in protecting Lebanon.”

But, March 8 which is backed by Iran and Syria is opposed to the presence of the league at the talks

Baath and Alawites: Baath Party leader MP Assem Qanso and Arab Democratic Party leader Rifaat Ali Eid protested against the list because they they were not represented .

Structure: The committee was expanded from 14 to 19 members

According to An-Nahar, 7 are from March 14 majority alliance , 7 from March 8 opposition alliance and 5 are centrists.

This structure was condemned by March 14 majority because it does not reflect its victory in the last June elections

Date of talks: The president failed to set a date for the resumption of talks when he announced the list of participants

Click here for a complete list of the participants