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Hezbollah reiterates warning against fait accompli Cabinet

From left, MPs Ghazi Zeaiter, Hasan Fadlallah and Ali Ammar leave the Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc reiterated Thursday the party’s warning against forming a fait accompli Cabinet, saying the resistance group was still working to form an all-embracing Cabinet.

“The bloc stresses on the need to remain alert toward the risk of slipping into an irresponsible adventure that would only complicate the [government] crisis and disrupt the presidential election,” the bloc said in a statement, issued after its weekly meeting in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

“That is, a fait accompli Cabinet, whatever the label, is an illegitimate government with no grounding in National Pact... and contradicts the Constitution and the Taif Accord,” it added.

Hezbollah and its allies in the March 8 group have warned against the formation of a fait accompli Cabinet, which fails to represent the country’s main political factions.

The party has opposed the formation of a neutral Cabinet made up of nonpartisan ministers, a lineup demanded by the March 14 coalition particularly the Future Movement.

“The bloc voices its commitment to facilitate the serious, national efforts to form a political, unifying government that enjoys consensus from all parties,” the bloc said.

Efforts to form a new government resumed in recent days after Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Walid Jumblatt began campaigning for a government lineup of 8-8-8 in which the March 14 and the March 8 groups would each get eight ministers, with "decisive ministers" alloted for each camp among the remaining eight centrist ministers.

Hezbollah’s second in command Sheikh Naim Qassem tied the fate of the presidential election to the formation of a new government, criticizing the logic behind a neutral Cabinet.

“When we succeed in forming a unifying government, we succeed in holding elections, whereas if we fail, the complications will become an obstacle to holding elections,” Qassem said.

Speaking during a graduation ceremony in Haret Hreik, Qassem said the president and the PM-designate knew in advance that a neutral government would fail to gain a majority of the Parliament’s vote of confidence.

“A neutral government should at least be headed by a neutral prime minister ... but the MPs chose a prime minister they already know is part of the March 14 coalition and voted for him to form a government that represents all parties,” Qassem said.

“[Salam] is not free to form a Cabinet as he pleases and serves a blow to the designation given to him by the Lebanese people,” he added.

The Hezbollah bloc also spoke about the recent suicide bombing in the Beirut neighborhood of Haret Hreik, where the party enjoys broad support, saying that the sharp political divisions have contributed to the deteriorating security situation in the country.

“The bloc sees that the weakness in the state's body and its agencies is a result of sharp political divisions and tensions among the the Lebanese people,” the bloc said in its statement, read by MP Hasan Fadlallah.

“This should be immediately remedied by being realistic, adopting dialogue and abandoning the policy of exclusion which contradicts the spirit of coexistence, the Constitution, and diversity,” it added.

 

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Summary

Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc reiterated Thursday the party's warning against forming a fait accompli Cabinet, saying the resistance group was still working to form an all-embracing Cabinet.

Hezbollah and its allies in the March 8 group have warned against the formation of a fait accompli Cabinet, which fails to represent the country's main political factions.

Hezbollah's second in command Sheikh Naim Qassem tied the fate of the presidential election to the formation of a new government, criticizing the logic behind a neutral Cabinet.


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