Electing a president is the core issue in Hariri’s road map to save Lebanon

hariri 2014

hariri 2014Former Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri proposed a “roadmap” aimed at protecting Lebanon from the unrest taking place in neighboring Syria.

“Electing a president is the core issue for ending the (political) vacuum and for developing a solution to the current crisis,” Hariri said Friday in a televised speech.

The former premier said the roadmap also includes “withdrawal of Hezbollah from the Syrian war, preparation of a national plan to confront terrorism in all its forms, agreement on an official emergency plan to face the Syrian refugee crisis, and doing everything possible to prevent Lebanon from drowning in the repercussions of the Syrian crisis.”

“The roadmap to protect Lebanon consists of forming a new cabinet similar to the current one, that would handle, with the new president, management of the current situation and the holding of the parliamentary elections.” He added

The former PM also rejected the extension of parliament’s term :
“holding parliamentary elections with no president indicates an automatically resigned cabinet and the impossibility of forming a new one.”

Lebanon has had no president since May 25, when Michel Suleiman’s mandate expired.
The Lebanese parliament has failed eight times in row to elect a president, each time unable to reach a quorum as March 8 parliamentarians affiliated with Hezbollah and Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc have boycotted the sessions.

Hezbollah and Syria

In his televised speech Hariri was very critical of Hezbollah’s participation in Syria’s conflict , which critics say has sucked Lebanon further into their larger neighbour’s quagmire.

“Unfortunately Hezbollah believes that it will save the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The truth is no one can save Assad’s regime,” he said.

He called on Hezbollah to work within the framework of the state.

“If Hezbollah is part of a national Lebanese project led by the state to confront terrorism, that is a good thing,” he said.

“But if it is part of the trinity led by Iran that includes (Prime Minister Nuri) al-Maliki’s state in Iraq and Assad’s state in Syria, this constitutes a heavy burden for Lebanon and the safety of the Lebanese people.”