BEIRUT: A March 14 delegation marking the eighth anniversary of the movement laid Thursday wreaths on the grave of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, as leaders in the opposition coalition said they would remain united.
The delegation, which included Future Movement MP Ammar Houri and March 14 official Samir Franjieh, laid the wreaths on the grave of Hariri near the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut.
Hariri is regarded as a focal symbol for the movement, which traces its roots to the mass demonstrations of March 14, 2005, a month after the killing of the prominent statesman.
Members of the delegation also paid their respects and laid wreaths on the grave of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, the head of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch whose assassination last year raised fears of a return to the string of killings that targeted mainly members of the nascent movement.
The March 14 coalition will celebrate the eighth anniversary to its founding at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center Sunday.
In remarks published Thursday, several leaders in the March 14 alliance leaders stressed that their movement remained united and pledged to maintain their “battle for peace.”
Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel told An-Nahar newspaper that the March 14 coalition had realized “unimaginable achievements” and saved Lebanon from the three decades of hegemony by Syria.
The Syrian army withdrew from the country in April 2005.
The former president said the opposition movement would “maintain its course to consolidate what it has achieved and reach its remaining objectives and carry on its battle for peace.”
Differences in the March 14 movement have emerged over a new electoral law to govern the upcoming elections. Figures in the movement have repeatedly have described the differences as minor and stressed that the alliance remains united and committed to its core principles.
Also in separate remarks to An-Nahar, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, a leading figure in the coalition, said that the alliance had come about as a “result of the belief in Lebanon’s coexistence which the forces of hegemony and darkness will not be able to target.”
“Lebanon's second independence came after both Muslim and Christian [figures] were martyred,” Siniora said, vowing that Lebanon “will remain independent and free despite all the attempts to undermine its members and kill its men and the ambition of its people.”
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, another leading figure in the opposition movement, told The Daily Star Wednesday that the grouping was allied “by nature,” as all its components shared a “untied vision of Lebanon.”