“Before you, Beirut was a capital of ghosts – with you, Beirut returned as a capital of dreams,” Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri said, during the ceremony marking the unveiling of a statue of his dad in downtown Beirut on Thursday.
“When you stood here downtown after the Taif Accord, you had no weapons nor were you surrounded by armed men. You decided to confront the the devastated city with a dream and to drive out the nightmare,” he said.
Addressing his father, he said: “They have turned the weapons against Beirut in your absence.”
, in a possible reference to Hezbollah.
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
Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah March 8 alliance and MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.
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.
Hezbollah is now claiming the parliament majority .