MP Sami Gemayel calls for early elections to end crisis


During a press conference on Wednesday Lebanese MP Sami Gemayel who represents the Phalange party in the parliament called for early parliamentary elections stressing that this will be the best democratic solution for ending the current crisis.

“I call for early parliamentary elections, let the people say their word,” Gemayel adding “this will be the best democratic solution for the current crisis and will put an end to the street violence “.

He said “people will be able to choose between justice and injustice, between the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and insecurity, between a stable and prosperous Lebanon versus confrontations with the international community “.

Gemayel said :“I have been MP for 1 year; I have been called for 3 parliamentary sessions only, 2 of which never took place due to internal differences,” he noted.

Commenting on the Lebanese crisis Gemayel said the events that took place in the past week, and the parliamentary consultations were part of a planned project that started in 2006 when the Shiite ministers resigned from ( former PM Fouad ) Siniora’s cabinet.. followed by the closing of the parliament…. followed by the sit-in in downtown Beirut to bring down the government …followed by the May 2008 uprising (when Hezbollah and its allies occupied the western part of Beirut and attacked Mt Lebanon ) , and most recently the pressure exerted on certain blocs to change allegiance .” a possible reference to MP Walid Jumblatt and his former Democratic Gathering bloc.

Gemayel blamed his allies in March 14 alliance for the concessions they have been offering during the past years to protect civil peace and to avoid taking to the streets.

“March 14 offered concessions after concessions …..when it accepted Nabih Berri as speaker of parliament, when it accepted to offer March 8 a blocking third in the government and when it approved the ministerial statement….This was in addition to the concessions offered over the Saudi-Syrian compromise,” Gemayel said

“The people feel betrayed and stabbed in the back” he said but stressed that “this does not justify the acts of violence” adding that “violence is not part of the March 14 culture and beliefs.”

Gemayel also called for a ‘Beirut’ conference to discuss all agreements and to resolve all conflicting and pending issues such as the illegal weapons and for restoring confidence amongst the Lebanese .

“Let us be responsible, the TAEF, Doha and Saudi-Syrian compromise did not solve our crisis… the problem is the lack of confidence among Lebanese,” he explained.

“We are at a crossroads, either we solve the problems once and for all, or we go for another temporary compromise and the problems never get solved ,” he added.

Commenting on Najib Mikati Gemayel expressed hope that the PM Designate came as consensus candidate , but he warned :

“ If the cabinet decides to give up on international justice, we will face the decision by taking to the streets (referring to the Phalange party). We will not compromise our martyrs, and we refuse to give legitimacy to weapons outside the Lebanese Armed Forces .”

MP Sami Gemayel is the brother of the late Pierre Gemayel ,the former Lebanese MP and Minister of Industry who was assassinated on November 21, 2006 few days after Hezbollah and Amal Cabinet ministers resigned from the Lebanese government of former PM Fouad Siniora.

Mikati, backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies , was appointed Tuesday by president Michel Suleiman as PM-designate to form and head the next cabinet , giving Hezbollah and its allies increased leverage in the country and provoking widespread protests.

Mikati did confirm that he was nominated to protect Hezbollah. He told AFP on Tuesday : “My nomination by Hezbollah does not make me committed to any political stance other than protecting the Resistance.” This was a possible reference to Hezbollah’s five point plan.

Hezbollah brought down Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s ( STL) indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005 .

According to analysts the issue in Lebanon is not who is Mikati as much as how did Mikati get nominated and by whom.