Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

New gov’t will protect Hariri’s killers – March 14 Alliance sources | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The March 14 Alliance and its members are continuing to attack the newly-formed Mikati government in Lebanon, claiming that this government “falls outside of the current developments in the Arab world towards the promotion of democracy and freedom…and is working to protect the killers of Rafik Hariri.” The March 14 Alliance also described the newly-formed government as aiming to turn Lebanon into a “rogue state.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, former Lebanese Finance Minister Mohamed Shatah confirmed that “the March 14 Alliance has become the principle opposition to the new government.” He added that “the March 14 Alliance rushed to announce their opposition to this government…because it is a government of one color that is dominated by two parties, namely Hezbollah and Michel Aoun’s party, and it is carrying out the agenda of these two parties.”

Shatah, who also served as a senior adviser to former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “we would have preferred a government made up of independents or technocrats because the current stage requires a serious government that is able to deal with the controversial issues we are facing.” He added that “this government will be judged by its ministerial statement, and its decisions and practices.”

As for the statement issued by the Future movement’s parliamentary bloc and its warning of the Mikati government against following the path of inciting further discord, Shatah said that “such rhetoric is an attempt to warn against the game-playing that we have heard from some members of this government with regards to their political rhetoric, and this is what has created this fear. He added that “if some members of this government are truly attempting to resort to such political game-playing, this represents a challenge to the concepts of political activism and democracy.”

For its part, the March 14 Alliance General Secretariat issued a statement asserting its belief that Damascus was behind the formation of this new government, in a bid to take Lebanon hostage. The March 14 Alliance statement claimed that “this government will return Lebanon to a period of time prior to 14 March 2005, in other words to the time of [Syrian] trusteeship…and it will protect those who planned and executed the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other Lebanese leaders.”

The March 14 Alliance General Secretariat statement also claimed that “this Syrian – Hezbollah government will expose Lebanon to grave dangers” adding that “everybody is aware that all of this aims to turn Lebanon into a rogue state.” The March 14 Alliance also stressed that it would stand firm to prevent Hezbollah from taking over Lebanon’s state security, social, and economic institutions, and prevent Lebanon becoming “another pillar of the Iranian regime.” This statement also confirmed that “this government falls outside of the current developments in the Arab world towards the promotion of democracy and freedom. Its job description is to turn the clock back to the time of [Syrian] hegemony by dragging Lebanon into a decaying regional axis that is on the verge of collapse.”

Meanwhile former Lebanese President Amine Gemayel, expressed skepticism regarding the newly formed Lebanese government’s ability to deal with the current threats facing the country. Kataeb party leader Gemayel was quoted by the [Lebanese] National News agency as saying that “I do not think this cabinet can face [the challenges]” expressing his fear that the March 8 coalition led government “will handle affairs at the expense of national interests.”

Former Lebanese Labor Minister Boutros Harb described the Mikati government as being “a government of confrontation and division…a government of muscle-flexing and incitement.” Whilst Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea described the new Lebanese cabinet as being “unrepresentative” adding that “this government is unconstitutional and contains a great political imbalance.”