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Former Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Mrad said in an interview with Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper published on Friday that the (Hezbollah-led March 8) opposition has not yet asked him to head the new cabinet.

“We tried Prime Minister Saad Hariri and we only saw crises,” he said , adding, “It is time for a new capable Sunni figure to head the government.”

“What matters now is getting rid of this government, ” he added

Reports circulated yesterday that March 8 coalition MPs will nominate Mrad , a staunch ally of Syria for the premiership.

There were also reports that Hezbollah is thinking about forming a separate cabinet if it does not succeed in getting its own man to lead the national unity cabinet, similar to Hamas did in Gaza.

During an interview with MEMRI TV last October Mrad said: “The so-called 9/11 ( September 11, 2001 attack ) incident is a big lie, which was used by the Americans as a pretext to stage a global offensive, beginning in Afghanistan, continuing in Iraq, and God knows where it will go from there. ”

Lebanese premier and current Future Movement parliamentary bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora, told Al Arabiya TV on Wednesday evening : “Based on all available data there is no substitute for Saad Hariri to head the new government.”

Lebanon’s president asked Saad Hariri to stay on as caretaker prime minister on Thursday after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned in a dispute over an investigation into the killing of Hariri’s father. A statement issued by President Michel Suleiman called on the government to “continue in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed”.

Lebanon’s government is dissolved when more than one third of its 30 cabinet members resign, and on Wednesday all 10 ministers belonging to the Iranian backed Hezbollah-led opposition announced their resignations. Hours later, they were joined by an eleventh minister representing Lebanese president Michel Suleiman, forcing the collapse of PM Saad Hariri’s government.

Saudi and Syrian officials have reportedly been working on a compromise that would resolve tensions in Lebanon over the imminent Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment . Reports say that the STL may soon indict Hezbollah members in its investigation of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri, father of Saad the current prime minister.

Hezbollah asked MP Michel Aoun to announce on Tuesday the failure of the Saudi-Syrian initiative and to blame March 14 alliance for the failure.

“The Lebanese president will begin consultations with lawmakers at 12:00 p.m. on Monday January 17 to designate a new prime minister”, parliament speaker Nabih Berri said after meeting President Michel Suleiman at the Baabda palace .

Hezbollah according to reports has someone else in mind to lead the new government . Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad unveiled on Thursday that the March 8 forces will name a personality with a history of national resistance to head the new government . Raad told reporters after meeting former President Emile Lahoud in response to a question on who will that be : “A personality with a national resistance biography, ” Raad said.

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