March 14 and Mikati clash over STL


March 14 leaders clashed with Prime Minister Najib Mikati over their fierce campaign aimed at bringing down the Hezbollah influenced government for its lack of commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon . He accused the new opposition of carrying out a crime against the nation .

“Sabotaging the nation is a crime,” Mikati said in a statement. “It is the national responsibility of everyone to preserve civil peace and stability and not to sabotage or make fictitious heroic acts that stir tension.”

“ March 14 used again the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri to pour their anger and hatred on the cabinet,” the statement quoted him as saying.

The statement added: “The opposition is a legitimate right, but hindering the country’s interests is a crime.”

The premier also rejected March 14’s call for the Arab and international communities to reject cooperation with the Lebanese cabinet which reflects “the anger feeling among the alliance’s members.”

March 14 leaders met on Sunday night at Le Bristol Hotel to launch the national opposition campaign which is aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s cabinet unless the latter voices his adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1757, which established the Special tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

March 14 leaders met on Sunday night at Le Bristol Hotel to launch the national opposition campaign which is aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government. The motto of the meeting was:"The Tribunal is our road to Justice

The meeting was attended by former president and current Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel, former PM and current Future bloc leader Fouad Siniora, March 14 MPs and several political figures .

“As national opposition members, we ask Mikati to voice his adherence to the UNSC Resolution 1757 or leave office,” the statement said.

The statement added that the March 14 coalition will face the coup which started on May 2008, using all democratic and peaceful political means.

“ March 14 will launch a political campaign – on an Arab and international level – designed to free the republic from the non-state arms prison,” the statement also said.

The statement also voiced the coalition’s call for justice, peace, democracy and its refusal of the permanent existence of non-state arms “that are controlling the state.”

“Political assassinations in Lebanon would not have reached this stage of violence if it hadn’t been for the use of non-state arms,” the statement added.

The coalition also slammed the cabinet which “defies the Lebanese people who support justice and freedom,” adding that the Lebanese people will not relinquish the principles of March 14.

The March 14 meeting comes after STL confirmed the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Hariri on Thursday. An STL delegation met with Lebanon’s state prosecutor Said Mirza on Thursday and handed him a copy of the Lebanon portion of the indictment and the arrest warrants. Two of the suspects Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash are reportedly senior members of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah while the other two Hezbollah members Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination.

Lebanon has 30 days to find and arrest the suspects but Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Saturday that the party would not cooperate with the tribunal.

“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests whether in 30 days, 30 years or even 300 years.”

“We reject the Special Tribunal for Lebanon along with each and every void accusation it issues, which to us is the equivalent of an attack against Hezbollah,” Nasrallah added in his hour-long speech.

Nasrallah admitted all the four suspects are Hezbollah members:

“The suspects named in the indictment are brothers who have an honorable history in resisting Israeli occupation.” He said

The whereabouts of the four remain unknown but some reports indicated that the two prime suspects in the assassination already fled to Iran.

Professor Ghassan Karam commented about Nasrallah’s defiance in an article in Ya Libnan: ” Nasrallah has acted as judge, jury and executioner. He has determined that his people are not guilty and that no one should dream of arresting any of them”.