Ad-Diyar: Jumblatt to vote in favor of funding STL


Ad-Diyar newspaper reported on Thursday that Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt will vote in favor of financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

Ad-Diyar’s report comes after Hezbollah vowed to use its position in government to try and block Lebanon’s funding for the U.N. court investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Ad-Diyar did not disclose its sources over its predictions of Jumblatt’s favorable vote.

The daily also reported that if the cabinet does not approve of the 2011 draft state budget because of a failure to reach a quorum when voting on the clause pertaining to STL funding, then Prime Minister Saad Hariri will transfer the budget to the parliament 15 days later.

March 14 MPs withdrew from the September 16 evening session of the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Commission to prevent it from reaching a quorum when March 8 coalition MPs called for voting on a 2010 state budget clause pertaining to Lebanon’s funding of the STL.

The STL indictments could be issued as early as next month according to local reports .

“You know our position on the tribunal, so we cannot agree to finance it,” Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi told The Associated Press on Wednesday when asked if his party will try to block the funding in Lebanon’s budget.

“Hezbollah and its allies have decided to oppose any financing of the tribunal,” Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, said in an interview with Agence France Presse on Wednesday.

Ammar Moussawi, in charge of international relations for Hezbollah, said Wednesday the tribunal represented a ticking “time bomb.”

Stability Vs. Justice Theory

Interior Minister Ziad Baroud said during a lecture in Washington that rejects the “stability vs. justice” theory.

“There is growing concern in Lebanon about the consequences of the International Tribunal,” he said .

“I do not know what will happen in the coming weeks or months, but one thing is certain …. tension in Lebanon,” Baroud said.

“Despite the difficulties at the present stage,” he went on to say, “a solution is not impossible, we can reach a solution.”

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat said last Thursday in an interview with LBC TV: If the price of justice was civil strife and the jeopardizing of civil peace, then it would be better to recoil.”