President Suleiman rules out a vote over false witnesses


President Michel Suleiman told Ad-Diyar newspaper during an interview that the cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue of so called “false witnesses” , but ruled out a vote on this controversial issue.

“We will not run away from this issue, but we are determined not to resort to voting,” Suleiman told Ad-Diyar .

quiet session

Suleiman said he has held several contacts” with the various political sides to avoid a heated Cabinet session.

He said Prime Minister Saad Hariri was also in favor of a quiet session.

Similarly Education Minister Hassan Mneimneh said on Wednesday that “there will not be any surprises during Wednesday’s cabinet session.”

He told the Voice of Lebanon (VOL) radio station that the cabinet talks will be about the issue of “false witnesses,” adding that the ministers might shelve the issue for a subsequent meeting.

“We refuse to put the issue of false witnesses up for a vote in the cabinet.” He said

March 8 politicians have called for the cabinet to ask Judicial Council to deal with the issue of “false witnesses ”, while , March 14 leaders have said that the regular judiciary should handle the matter.

Tension escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim. Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL.

Some leaders are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife.

Al Akhbar newspaper reported last week that Hezbollah has prepared a plan to take over Lebanon when STL issues its indictment for the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.



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