WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former Lebanese president Amin Gemayel has said the movement to bring down the government of Fuad Siniora is a “coup d’etat” against Lebanon’s constitution.
He also said that Lebanon cannot afford a new civil war that many fear could break out from the country’s political crisis.
“In my opinion, what’s going on in Lebanon is really a coup d’etat… It’s a coup d’etat against the Lebanese constitution,” he said on CNN television.
Accusing Syria of being behind the movement, Gemayel said that Damascus is trying to undermine Siniora’s government and to block the constitutional process designed to establish an international tribunal on the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005.
“This coup d’etat is to block the constitution process … to endorse the international tribunal. Because Syria is really afraid, because it’s the first suspect in the … crimes,” Gemayel said, referring to the murders of both Hariri and Gemayel’s own son Pierre Gemayel, the industry minister assassinated in Beirut last November 21.
Amin Gemayel also attacked the Lebanese Shiite party Hezbollah, which he branded a “state within a state.”
“They have their own army, their own financial system, with the huge and generous financial support from outside. … Hezbollah enjoyed the full support of Syria and Iran. It’s not a secret.”
Gemayel said the country cannot afford to have a new civil war.
“We’re trying now to find a political solution to this crisis. I am, myself, also in touch with the Hezbollah and many other parties, trying to avoid the civil war and to find a political solution to the prevailing crisis.”