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Lebanon News

Hezbollah MP says party not considering ‘neutral’ 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 MP Hasan Fadlallah voiced Wednesday his party’s opposition to the formation of a neutral government as proposed by some March 14 parties to supervise the upcoming elections.

“We are not considering the formation of a neutral Cabinet because neutrality doesn't exist,” Fadlallah told a gathering of students at the American University of Beirut.

“Proposals for a neutral government or one of technocrats would be appropriate for a system other than the Lebanese one, therefore, there’s no need to debate that,” he said.

“Who is neutral or a technocrat without some sort of [political] affiliation?”

Some in the March 14 movement, including Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, have voiced their preference for a neutral government to oversee the elections to replace the present caretaker one.

Fadlallah said Lebanon needed a “strong, political government” capable of facing challenges at the security, political and economic levels in order to hold the elections on time.

President Michel Sleiman accepted the resignation of the government Saturday and Baabda Palace sources have told The Daily Star that an announcement from the Presidential Palace will likely be issued Thursday stating the date for parliamentary consultations to name the prime minister-designate.

Lawmakers from both the March 8 and the March 14 coalitions have said they are still deliberating and viewing their options with regard to the new prime minister.

The Hezbollah lawmaker said his party and its allies were still at the consultations stage and that “all options were on the table.”

“Until now, we are at the consultation stage between the majority forces of the resigned government and we are trying to have a unified stance and we are open to discussion in all directions to reach a formula that is comfortable to Lebanon, particularly given what is happening Lebanon and the region from developments and events,” he said.

 

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