Yesterday Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) MP Nabil Nicolas launched an attack against president Michel Suleiman and accused him of violating Article 65 of the constitution.
“I did not understand what he meant when he said that ‘no one specifies for me when to vote and when not to vote in the cabinet’. The president does not have the right to vote in the cabinet even if he is presiding it,” Nicolas told MTV on Monday.
Today FPM leader MP Michel Aoun, a close ally of Hezbollah escalated the attack against the president over the vote over the so called false witnesses issue following the Change and Reform meeting.
“When we asked for a vote to be cast on the false witnesses issue in the cabinet, we were aiming to implement the constitution and not deprive President Michel Suleiman of his jurisdiction. We still think casting a vote is necessary.”
He added “The president is the one who swore an oath to protect the constitution. There is a defect when it comes to implementing the constitution because not casting a vote in the cabinet obstructed the government and the judiciary.”
Aoun accused the president of cover up :
“Not transferring the false witnesses to the judiciary is a cover-up for the criminals. When ‘false witnesses’ are interrogated, we will know who is behind them .”
Aoun also said : Suleiman’s jurisdictions lies in maintaining the constitution. Article 65 of [the constitution is clear. Either a consensus about a certain issue is achieved or a vote is cast.
During an interview with As-Safir newspaper published on Monday, Suleiman said “I do not accept anyone setting time frames for me to secure consensus in the cabinet and obliging me to put any issue up for a vote.”
Article 65 of the Lebanese constitution states that the Council of Ministers meets in a locale specifically set aside for it, and the president chairs its meetings when he attends. The legal quorum for a Council meeting is a majority of two thirds of its members. It makes its decisions by consensus. If that is not possible, it makes its decisions by vote of the majority of attending members.
According to observers Aoun never stopped dreaming about the presidency and he uses every opportunity to try to undermine the president who has been trying to ease the tension in Lebanon over the STL indictment .
Tensions in Lebanon have been simmering for months as it has become increasingly apparent the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL) is leaning toward charging Hezbollah , the Shiite Muslim group with killing Mr. Hariri on Valentine’s Day 2005.
The massive, 1,000 kilogram, car bomb that killed Mr. Hariri as he traveled along Beirut’s fashionable seaside Corniche, left a crater 10 meters deep, knocked down several buildings and killed 21 other people, in addition to killing the billionaire tycoon who had rebuilt war-shattered Beirut.
Lebanese politicians fear any indictment of Hezbollah members for the killing could lead to a situation where the group might militarily seize large parts of Lebanon, just it they did in May 2008, when it briefly grabbed control of the western part of Beirut and tried, but failed, to occupy the Druze stronghold of Mt. Lebanon.
For months now, rumors have hinted UN investigators have uncovered evidence a Hezbollah hit-squad carried out the killing.
Hezbollah’s leaders have denied the charge.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also warned all Lebanese last November not to assist UN investigators, saying to do so would be tantamount to an attack on his movement.
Nasrallah vowed to “cut off the hand” of anyone who tried to arrest a Hezbollah fighter.