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hariri 2014On the eve of  Lebanon’s  71st anniversary of independence former PM and Future Movement Saad Hariri said on Friday that it was “disgraceful” for Lebanon’s Independence Day to be celebrated amid a vacuum at the Baabda Palace,

Lebanon will not be officially celebrating its  independence this Saturday  with a military parade  according to PM Tammam Salam because there is no president at the Baabda palace

Hariri called  for the immediate  election of a head of state .

“It is disgraceful for Independence Day to come in the absence of a president, whose primary goal  is  to preserve the independence and the territorial integrity of the nation,” said Hariri in a statement.

“Independence is meaningless if there is an intention to replace the French  mandate with a vacuum in constitutional institutions,” said Hariri.

“It is also the biggest insult to those elite Lebanese men who achieved independence and took it as a base for the formation  of the  National Pact and the formula of coexistence.”

“Independence Day is an occasion to renew the call for a road map that protects Lebanon from the surrounding storms, and to initiate, without any delay, consultations to agree on electing a president who would make his priority the revival of the national dialogue, the deactivation of discord traps, and the military and security disengagement with the Syrian war.” Hariri said.

This road map, Hariri said, represented the required foundation for stability and a suitable environment for the army to successfully carry out its role in controlling the border, fighting terrorism and freeing the kidnapped soldiers, who were kidnapped in August during clashes with militants from Syria.

“Otherwise, we will rush ahead, hide behind political inflexibility and propose impossible solutions to justify breaking the rules of national consensus to monopolize decision-making and push the country into the regional fires,” he said.

Lebanon received its independence  on November 22, 1943 .

The Lebanese parliament failed yesterday  and for the 16th time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25.

As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the sessions.

Speaker Nabih Berri postponed to Dec. 10 Lebanon’s presidential election

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, the first to announce his presidential candidacy accused Aoun  and Hezbollah of obstructing the election.

Hariri, Lebanon’s most influential Sunni politician, has been in self-imposed exile between France and Saudi Arabia since 2011. He left the country after his government was toppled by a coalition including  the  Shiite  Hezbollah group .

Five Hezbollah members are being tried by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for involvement in the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father former PM Rafik Hariri and 22 others

 

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