BEIRUT: The Future parliamentary bloc rejected Tuesday threats by Hezbollah over the formation of a new Cabinet and urged the president and prime minister-designate not to succumb to the party’s ‘blackmail’ and form a neutral Cabinet that excludes political parties.
“The rhetoric of threats, mainly the expression ‘do not play with us,’ is shameful and we object to it,” MP Ammar Houri, reading the bloc’s weekly statement, said.
“ Hezbollah should not play with Lebanon or deceive the Lebanese by violating the National Pact because past experiences of such manipulation have only led to negative consequences,” the statement said.
The bloc also called on Hezbollah “to return to reality and cease its arrogance.”
Last week, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said the March 14 coalition was “declaring a war” against his party by refusing to return to dialogue or take part in the next Cabinet.
“This can be understood as a declaration of war because they did not set a line of retreat,” Nasrallah said during a televised speech.
“If this is true, then tell us. We don’t want to go to war with you ... Our battle is with Israel. But no one should play with us,” he warned.
The March 14 coalition, which is headed by the Future Movement, says the next Cabinet cannot include Hezbollah given the party’s military involvement in Syria. As a compromise, the alliance argues a neutral government that excludes political parties should be formed instead.
Hezbollah, which heads the March 8 alliance, refuses the notion of a neutral Cabinet, arguing it violates the Constitution’s preamble pertaining to the need for coexistence, and has called for a national unity government in which the rival coalitions are given veto power.
The different demands by the rival political groups have ground to a halt the formation of the cabinet, a task that is in the hands of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam and President Michel Sleiman.
In its statement, the Future parliamentary bloc reiterated its call for the formation of a neutral Cabinet that excludes political parties.
“The bloc reiterates its call on the president and prime minister-designate to form a new government of non-political partisans,” the bloc said.
“They [Sleiman and Salam] should not yield to the blackmail and terrorist attempts by the party of arms [Hezbollah] and domination to obstruct the Constitution and state institutions,” the statement said.
“ Hezbollah is making the Lebanese choose between two options: to yield to the terror of its arms or to keep state institutions at an impasse. This is totally rejected and unacceptable,” the bloc said.
The bloc also commented on the weekend clash between two families in Western Bekaa that led to the killing of six people and described the incident as “shameful to the entire Lebanese people.”
“The residents of Suweiri are the sons of one home and they are united by family ties and coexistence and national and Arab [loyalty],” the bloc said.
“Such relations cannot turn into a battlefield for showdowns.”