Jumblat: Domestic Challenges as Important as STL, if Not More So

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat pointed out Monday that the country's domestic challenges could be “more important” than any developments related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

“The STL is existent and the government is financing this tribunal. The court has condemned individuals and history cannot stop because of these individuals. The domestic financial challenges are as important as the STL, if not more so,” Jumblat said when asked whether there is a link between the delay in the Cabinet formation process and any expected developments related to the STL.

Jumblat was speaking to reporters after meeting Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain el-Tineh.

The STL is trying four Hizbullah operatives in absentia over the 2005 assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri. The STL's prosecution has described the group's slain military commander Mustafa Badreddine as “the leader of the three-man team that coordinated the attack.”

Separately, Jumblat stressed that there is no “Druze obstacle” blocking the formation of the new government.

“There is no Druze obstacle. We're the ones who won the elections, unless we want to repeat the elections,” the Druze leader told reporters.

“We must quickly overcome the governmental crisis because the economic situation cannot withstand further delay. Caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil has put us in the picture of scary facts,” Jumblat said.

As for the demands of the Lebanese Forces, the PSP leader said: “The deputy premier post does not actually exist but the LF's demands are justified within the framework of a national unity government.”

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