BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea urged Saturday ministers loyal to MP Walid Jumblatt to immediately pull out of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
“I call for the immediate resignation of Mikati’s cabinet ... I particularly call on Jumblatt’s ministers to resign from the government,” Geagea said in a news conference at his Maarab residence, speaking a day after the deadly attack in Beirut that claimed the life of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan.
Geagea’s comments came hours after Mikati said he would give President Michel Sleiman time to consult the National Dialogue Committee on his decision to resign.
His address comes amid mounting calls for the government to resign by the March 14 coalition, which earlier in the day said it would hold a rally at Martyrs’ Square and demand ministers resign over the killing of Hasan, who headed the police’s Information Branch since its inception in 2006.
Geagea also called on the international and Arab communities to stop protecting Mikati’s Cabinet.
“I call on the Arab and international community to lift the cover off Mikati’s Cabinet that has lost all justifications for its continuation,” said Geagea.
In a message to Sleiman conveyed by France’s ambassador to Lebanon, President Francois Hollande urged the the president to prevent Lebanon from plunging into a political vacuum, Baabda Palace sources said.
Geagea, a leading figure in the Lebanese opposition, also reiterated the March 14 coalition’s call for the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon to deploy along the border with Syria.
Calling on the LF supporters and the Lebanese people to take part in Hasan’s burial, Geagea said: “the battle is now between good and evil, and we should put an end to the political assassinations in the country.”
The LF leader also called for suspending all security, judicial and military agreements with Syria and for the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon.
“What are we waiting for? Haven’t we had enough? The criminal is the same and the aim behind such crimes is the same ... They just want to oppress anyone who disagrees with them,” Geagea said.
Speaking at the site of the explosion in the Beirut neighborhood of Ashrafieh Friday, Geagea accused President Bashar Assad of being behind the car bombing that led to Hasan’s killing.