Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea called on Monday for the formation of a cabinet comprised of March 14 officials and centrists stressing that the cabinet of March 8’s camp has clearly demonstrated over the past two years that it does not seek Lebanon’s interests.
During a press conference Geagea said:
“The March 8 camp is incapable of building the state, since it is linked to a regional agenda that has nothing to do with Lebanon.” A possible reference to Hezbollah’s links to the embattled Syrian regime and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
He labeled the current caretaker government as the most corrupt that had ever ruled Lebanon.
It failed in achieving reform and security and it tarnished Lebanon’s image abroad, Geagea continued.
“The March 8 camp is incapable of building the state, since it is linked to a regional agenda that has nothing to do with Lebanon.” Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Monday in a possible reference to Hezbollah’s links to the embattled Syrian regime and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Geagea dismissed the calls for national dialogue as a waste of time , stressing that its is not necessary because the constitution explains the steps needed in light of the resignation of a government.
“Claims that Lebanon’s salvation lies in dialogue is a waste of time,” he said stressing that the new cabinet should not include members of the March 8 camp and centrists because the caretaker one was comprised of such figures and it demonstrated its failure.
Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri said Monday that the national dialogue at Baabda palace has become a necessity after the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government.
On suggestions that a national unity government should be formed, Geagea noted that two such cabinets that were formed in the past were also met with failure due to obstacles thrown their way by the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance.
“If the centrists and March 8 camp failed to reach an agreement to extend the term of Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi, then how would the March 8 camp fare with its rival March 14 if combined in one cabinet?” he asked.
Geagea reiterated his suggestion to form a government of technocrats comprised of March 14 officials and centrists that would help stage the elections, which would be held after a slight delay.
The elections are scheduled to be staged on June 9.
Asked if such a technocrat cabinet would be possible given Hezbollah’s presence, Geagea responded: “Given the choice of being killed a slow death or an immediate one, then we would choose the latter.”
“Is it wrong to propose that the March 14 camp and centrists take their turn in government after the March 8 forces had their chance in power in the past two years?” Geagea asked stressing that he sees no other solution given the failure of the previous government.
“Let Hezbollah react whichever way it wants, but we should not be afraid,” he stressed
He hoped that the centrists, starting with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, would seriously consider his proposal.
“No other suggestion would save Lebanon because Hezbollah is only concerned with fighting alongside the Syrian regime,” he said
“Any government that includes Hezbollah will only bring about more destruction in Lebanon,” Geagea stressed
He revealed to reporters that a petition will be submitted to Berri on Tuesday to urge him to call parliament to session in order to extend Rifi’s term.
Mikati’s cabinet collapsed when Hezbollah and its allies blocked the creation of a body to supervise the upcoming parliamentary elections and refused to extend the term of Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi.
Mikati announced his resignation on Friday at the Grand Serail following the last cabinet session at the Baabda palace.
On Saturday, President Michel Suleiman accepted Mikati’s resignation and requested him to continue in his role at the head of a caretaker government until a new one is formed.
It appears that Hezbollah’s refusal to extend Rifi’s term has reunited the Sunnis of Lebanon, , March 14 and the centrists.
Hezbollah official Bekaa chief Mohammed Yaghi considered on Sunday that Mikati’s resignation was a “misstep”, revealing that “he will no longer be nominated to head a cabinet”.
“Those who have submitted their resignation will not be nominated to head the future cabinet because we want to protect Lebanon in these tough times,” Yaghi said at an event celebrating Mother’s Day in the Bekaa town of Shmestar
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