Hezbollah MP warns against forming a de facto govt


suleiman raadMP Mohammed Raad who heads up the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc warned Lebanese President Michel Suleiman during a meeting at the presidential palace in Baabda against forming a de facto govt.

This comes after Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah reiterated during his speech last Friday against
forming a de facto cabinet.”

“The meeting was positive and represented the best response to reports claiming ties were severed between the two parties,” Hezbollah’s mouthpiece al-Manar TV quoted sources close to Baabda as saying.

“Raad stressed the importance of electing a president within the constitutional timeframe and Suleiman backed his viewpoint,” the sources added, according to al-Manar.

Al-Manar added that “Raad conveyed the bloc’s point of view, which calls for a unity cabinet, underlining the dangers of forming a de facto government”.

Suleiman reportedly told Raad that “the issue of the cabinet formation process is in the hands of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam,” according to the report.

Raad and the Hezbollah delegation that accompanied him during the talks left the meeting without making a statement.

On Sunday, Raad had called on the March 14 camp to return to the national dialogue in order to tackle pending disputes.

“I call on my brothers and partners in Lebanon to realize that time is running out,” he remarked.

“We are in need of revitalizing all of the country’s institutions and we should listen to each other’s needs in order to do so,” he added.

“We must return to dialogue. We may change the form and agenda of the dialogue if you do not like it,” he stressed.

“Your silence however is leading you to the abyss and you are leading your partners to greater dangers,” warned Raad.

Tensions were high between Suleiman and Hezbollah over the party’s role in Syrian civil war and the obstacles it presented over the formation of a new government.

Suleiman had suggested the formation of a government that can supervise the elections even if it did not enjoy parliament’s vote of confidence.

Hezbollah had rejected his proposal which it called ” unconstitutional”.

President Suleiman last week reiterated his call on the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group to withdraw from Syria and abide by the Baabda declaration.

The Baabda Declaration was issued following a national dialogue in 2012, and was championed by President Suleiman and signed by all the Lebanese parties including Hezbollah. It called on distancing Lebanon from regional conflicts.

Thousands of Hezbollah fighters are reportedly helping the forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al Assad in their fight against the mostly Sunni rebels who are trying to topple the 40 year old dictatorship.

650 Hezbollah fighters have already been killed in Syria so far this year according to a report by the well informed Kuwaiti newspaper al Seyasseh