Hariri: We are seeking justice not power


Caretaker  Prime Minister Saad Hariri issued a statement Thursday blasting the use of weapons against the Lebanese people, adding that “even state arms will become unacceptable… if they do not serve Lebanese citizens’ interests.”

Hariri stressed on Thursday that arms that are directed against what is just will fail as was demonstrated in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

“We want the establishment of a democratic state where citizens can express themselves freely,” he added.

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri addresses a gathering of religious figures on Thursday

We do not want power, we want justice and a state capable of protecting its Christian and Muslim citizens, Hariri said during a lunch held in honor of religious figures.

“All we ask for  is for justice to be achieved. We will continue to call for revealing the truth  behind the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri] and we will practice our opposition peacefully and democratically because we believe that the people’s affairs are more important than any political position.”

In the six years that followed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, “we have never called for revenge and we were never spiteful towards anyone. All we are asking for is justice that would heal the wounds of Lebanese who consider Hariri’s assassination an assassination of the project to the build the state,” he said.

Hariri also said that the duty of parliamentarians is to serve citizens’ interests, adding that people’s affairs are more important than any political stance.

Hariri’s comment come after Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted yesterday as saying during his weekly meeting with lawmakers at the parliament building on Wednesday that March 14 was frustrated over the collapse of Caretaker PM Saad Hariri’s cabinet and was striving for power not justice in former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.

The Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005

March 14 parties have said that they will not take part in the cabinet currently being formed by PM designate Nagib Mikati. Hariri vowed last week to fight the use of non-state weapons “peacefully and democratically.”

Nagib Mikati, who was backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies including MP Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi, was appointed on January 25 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 protest.

Jumblatt and his PSP parliament members reportedly switched allegiance to Hezbollah’s PM candidate, following threats by Hezbollah.

Jumblatt, Mikati and Safadi were all elected on March 14 electoral tickets during the 2009 parliamentary elections