President Michel Suleiman said on Friday in comments over the appointment of Nagib 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.
“What happened in Lebanon was the alternation of power in a democratic way,” he was quoted as saying
Consultations are now underway to form the cabinet in the appropriate constitutional procedure, Suleiman said while receiving a delegation of Kuwaiti journalists.
Hezbollah brought down PM Saad 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.
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.
Outgoing caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri was quoted by MTV as saying during Dar al-Fatwa’s meeting on Thursday:“We accept the principle of alternation of power.”
Hariri then outlined what really happened recently that led to the current situation and said the disputes are linked to three issues:
1-Domination through power, this is a possible reference of Hezbollah arms which were used against the Lebanese people and institutions on several occasions starting in 2006
2 – Denial of parliamentary election results, this is a possible reference to the alleged threats against MP Walid Jumblatt who, along with his parliamentary bloc had the decisive vote in the naming of PM designate. Jumblatt and his bloc won the 2009 elections as part of March 14 alliance
3- The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment