CNA: Hariri’s speech on Feb 14 will mark a political turning point


Caretaker PM Saad Hariri’s speech on Monday February 14 will hold significant indications and will stand as a great political turning point in which the March 14 camp will officially become the opposition, Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Friday.

March 14 alliance announced earlier this week that it will hold the commemoration marking the sixth anniversary of the martyrdom of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and all martyrs of the Cedar Revolution at Biel hall in downtown Beirut on Monday February 14.

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. The government would not have collapsed without the help of Suleiman’s minister of state Adnan el Sayyed Hussein.

Nagib Mikati, who was backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies including MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi, was appointed 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.

Jumblatt who, along with his parliamentary bloc had the decisive vote in the naming of PM designate was reportedly subjected to repeated threats by Hezbollah

Mikati has called on all Lebanese parties to join his upcoming cabinet, but March 14 parties have said that they will not take part in a cabinet headed by a March 8 before Mikati first clarifies his stance on illegal weapons ( those of Hezbollah and Syrian backed Palestinians outside the camps) and the UN-backed tribunal STL.

President Michel Suleiman said on Friday in comments over the appointment of Mikati as a PM designate that the transfer of power from March 14 to March 8 was democratic according to a statement from his office.