Naharnet

Geagea Tells Aoun, Hariri to Form Govt. without Hizbullah

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has called on President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to form a government without Hizbullah should the party continue refusing to hand the PM-designate the names of its three Shiite ministers.

“Any political party has the right to have a viewpoint about the formation process, but that should not be more than a mere viewpoint. President Aoun and PM-designate Hariri have the right to endorse or reject this viewpoint. The party concerned can also grant or withhold its confidence from the formed government. This is the constitution and this is democracy,” Geagea said in an interview with the Central News Agency.

“But no party can say, ‘You either do what we want or there won’t be a government,’ and this is what Hizbullah is doing today,” the LF leader added.

Warning that the economic and social situations “cannot withstand further confusion,” Geagea said Aoun and Hariri “must take a decision” in light of their “constitutional responsibility.”

“They must tell Hizbullah, ‘We want you in the government, give us the names of your ministers, and you have the right to voice your opinion on the issue of representing the independent Sunnis with a minister’… or else they should form a de facto government should the party refuse to hand the names,” Geagea added.

The new government was on the verge of formation on October 29 after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of pro-Hizbullah Sunni MPs surfaced.

Hizbullah has insisted that the six Sunni MPs should be given a seat in the government, refraining from providing Hariri with the names of its three Shiite ministers in a bid to press him.

Hariri has rejected the demand, announcing that he’d rather step down than give the aforementioned lawmakers a seat from his own share in the government.


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