Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
07:40 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
17 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Safadi’s choice not to run sends mixed message to rival coalitions
Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi. (The Daily Star)
Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi. (The Daily Star)
A+ A-

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: The recent announcement from Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi that he would not be standing in the upcoming parliamentary elections has sent shockwaves across the political spectrum.

Many question how this would affect the government over the next few months and how it could change the dynamics of the elections in the northern city of Tripoli.

The reactions from Safadi’s and Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s quarters have been mostly vague and both officials have refused to formally comment on the implications of his decision.

Both Safadi and Mikati won their seats in Parliament in an electoral alliance with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Tripoli.

While the alliance was severed following the collapse of Hariri’s government last year, Mikati has been aiming for a quiet rapprochement with the Future Movement to raise his popularity within the Sunni community throughout Lebanon.

Since Tripoli is key in deciding the majority in the 2013 elections, Safadi’s choice not to run could ignite a new battle between the Hariri and Mikati campaigns.

Speaking to reporters following a Cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail last week, Safadi announced that he had no intention to run for a parliamentary seat, but failed to say whether he would completely distance himself from national politics.

Key political figures have so far refused to comment on Safadi’s statements and the message behind his refusal to run for a seat again. Sports and Youth Minister Faisal Karami and his Tripoli colleague in government, State Minister Ahmad Karami, have maintained a cautious silence on the matter.

While there is a lot of criticism of Safadi within the Future Movement, no open statement has been made so far in such a vein. But sources close to the political bloc say that Safadi is considered a “traitor” to the movement since he had allied himself with Hariri in the parliamentary elections of 2005 and 2009.

The same cautious attitude is present among sources close to Mikati, who say the prime minister is still hoping Safadi will change his mind, and form an electoral alliance in 2013 against Hariri’s bloc in Tripoli.

The sources also deny that Safadi’s decision not to run is due to disagreements between him and Mikati.

Recent rumors have claimed that Safadi is unhappy with Mikati’s recent political maneuvers, believing that the prime minister has been working to marginalize Safadi both within the government and among the Sunni community by extending the government’s hand to the Future Movement instead.

However, former Tripoli MP Misbah al-Ahdab told The Daily Star that Safadi’s decision was an attempt to weaken Mikati by sending a double-message to the March 14 and March 8 coalitions that he was ready to replace Mikati as prime minister and form a neutral government that would oversee next year’s parliamentary elections.

Ahdab said it was unlikely the 2013 polls would take place on time given the sporadic violence erupting in Lebanon. “For the time being, it is not possible to build alliances, as they could completely change due to the uncertain political situation.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 06, 2012, on page 2.
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Misbah al-Ali
 
 
Security plan is treatment, not cure: scholars
 
 
Regional powers’ stance on presidency not yet known
 
 
Tripoli’s Father Carmello on God’s work during troubled times
 
 
Army prevents Tripoli protest, security plan moves forward
 
 
Army blocks Tripoli anti-security protest
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS