BEIRUT: Future Movement leader Saad Hariri Monday said the current political problems in Lebanon were linked to Hezbollah’s armament, and not the sectarian power-sharing formula.
“The political problem in Lebanon is not a result of its political system which is based on the Taif Constitution, as some like to say sometimes, but because of the presence of illegal weapons with a Lebanese party... The intimidation (caused) by these weapons has hegemony on all aspects of the country,” Hariri said in a statement released by his press office.
He added no alternative system could be reached as long as Hezbollah held on to these weapons.
“The Taif Accord ended the (1975-1990) Civil War, however the presence of weapons is a dangerous matter and a sword which will continue to hang over civil peace in Lebanon,” he said, adding that Iran, not Hezbollah, had a say over what the party does with the arms.
“The settlement over the fate of the party’s arms is regionally linked, meaning a change of the system (in Lebanon) won’t change anything.”
Hariri reiterated that he was sticking to his presidential initiative and hoped for an end to the nearly two-year-long presidential crisis, accusing Hezbollah of “not acting seriously” to fill the vacuum.
Late last year, Hariri secretly endorsed his political rival Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh for the presidency, before publicly nominating him last month upon his return to Lebanon from his self-imposed exile.
Hariri’s nomination of Frangieh ultimately ended his backing for long-time ally Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, creating a rift within the March 14 camp.