Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Tuesday described a decision by Ghobeiri Municipality to name a street after slain Hizbullah commander Mustafa Badreddine as “the very essence of sectarian discord.”
Badreddine has been accused by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of being the mastermind of the 2005 attack that killed ex-PM Rafik Hariri, Saad's father. The Hizbullah commander was killed by rebel shelling in Syria in 2016 according to Hizbullah officials.
“This is regrettable and when we sought justice we were speaking of stability, but someone does not want stability but rather to take the country into another situation that they will be held responsible for,” Hariri added in a chat with reporters ahead of the weekly meeting of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc.
Caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq has ordered the removal of the controversial street signs in Ghobeiri, stressing that the ministry has not given a permission to the municipality to name the street after Badreddine.
Turning to the stalled Cabinet formation process, Hariri said: “I support any powers stipulated by the Constitution and the biggest mistake against the presidential tenure and the country is delaying the formation of the government. The presidential tenure can be triumphant through achievements, not through a ministerial share or a minister here or there.”
“There is nothing new regarding the government this week,” Hariri added, noting that “the problem is not only about the Lebanese Forces or the Progressive Socialist Party but also about the Marada Movement.”
“The solution is easy if we really want it,” the PM-designate went on to say, pointing out that the government delay is “100% Lebanese.”
“The parties should show modesty and (FPM chief MP) Jebran Bassil's labeling of the public works minister as incompetent is shameful,” Hariri added.
Asked about Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi's call for a “neutral government,” the PM-designate said: “If we are not able to make the country neutral, how are we supposed to form a neutral government?”
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