BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea Friday criticized the government’s inaction over the alleged involvement of the Syrian regime in recent bombings in Lebanon.
Geagea, during a graduation ceremony of party members, also blasted what he described as the lack of political awareness in Lebanese society.
“It has become a fact that the Syrian regime is behind the Tripoli bombings and there is no way to deny it,” Geagea said, referring to the twin Aug. 23 bombings in the northern city that killed 47 people and wounded over 100.
Earlier this week, Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr charged seven suspects over the bombings outside separate mosques in Tripoli, with preliminary investigations linking the suspects to Syrian intelligence services and a local political party allied with the Damascus regime.
“I would even tie them [the Tripoli bombings] with the Samaha-Mamlouk case,” Geagea added, referring to case of former Minister Michel Samaha, an ally of Syria, who along with Syrian intelligence official Ali Mamlouk was charged last year with plotting terrorist attacks and assassinations in the country.
“No one has done anything concerning these developments on the diplomatic level,” the LF leader said.
“No one thought of the fact that the Syrian regime carried out two terrorist operations against Lebanese groups in cities and nothing has been done officially? What was the Lebanese state's position on such developments?” he asked.
“Shouldn't the Lebanese state withdraw its ambassador in Damascus, expel the Syrian envoy in Beirut and send a letter [of complaint] to the Arab League?” Geagea asked.
Without naming Hezbollah and the March 8 coalition it heads, Geagea leveled criticism against Syria’s allies in Lebanon, accusing them of turning a blind eye to Damascus’ alleged crimes on Lebanese soil.
“Where do Syria’s allies stand regarding the bombings?” he asked.
“Nowhere: They are still allies and, even more, fight alongside regime forces in Syria,” Geagea added, stressing that Lebanon should reconsider its ties with Syrian security forces.
Speaking about the stalled Cabinet formation process, Geagea reiterated that the president and the prime minister-designate enjoyed the Constitutional prerogative of determining the type and line-up of the government, referring to Hezbollah’s recent demand for a 9-9-6 Cabinet formula.
Hezbollah’s support for the 9-9-6 Cabinet, which would give the rival March 8 and March 14 camps veto power, surfaced earlier this week. Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt has also supported the Cabinet arrangement.
“No one can strip the president and the prime minister-designate from their constitutional right of forming a government and refer it to Parliament for a confidence vote,” the LF leader said.
He also stressed the need for the presidential election due in May 2014 to take place.
“We should have a new presidential election and the Parliament should convene to elect a new president and that is the duty of all MPs,” he said.
Geagea also argued political thinking in Lebanese society needed to change for the better.
“The current crisis resides in two things: to vote for a political party that provides them with certain services and they’re treated like political customers,” he said.
“The second issue is the clan mentality which sees every person voting for a family member regardless of their performance,” Geagea added.