Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Wednesday announced that “the era of settlements with the other camp is over,” noting that Prime Minister Najib Miqati's government “represents the killers.”
“We want to stop the killing machine that is targeting us. Assassinations have become a trivial thing and unfortunately some officials are calling for dialogue as if nothing happened,” said Geagea in an interview on Future television.
“For the institutions to continue functioning, we must stop the killing machine and this is what March 14 wants,” he added.
The LF leader noted that ousting Miqati's government is only one aspect of March 14's strategy “because the killers are part of this government.”
“How can we explain the fact that from 2004 until today assassinations have only targeted the March 14 camp,” Geagea asked rhetorically.
Pointing the finger at the rival March 8 camp over the series of assassinations and assassination attempts in the country, the last of which was the assassination of Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, Geagea said: “Before they assumed power, they voiced objections over telecom data and against the Intelligence Bureau because it is the only security authority that is not under their control.”
Asked about the March 8 camp's rationale that handing over the entire telecom data to security agencies would be an invasion of citizens' privacy and therefore a human rights violation, Geagea said: “How can they support a regime that is 'stepping on' human rights and still say that the issue of telecom data violates human rights.”
“The issue is that the March 14 camp is facing systematic killing operations organized by large groups and armed organizations that have military wings,” Geagea charged.
“How can we speak of a political life amid these assassinations? How can we head to polls amid this killing? We must improve the current situation in order to have (parliamentary) elections” in 2013, he added.
Asked about the attempt to storm the Grand Serail following al-Hasan's funeral, Geagea said: “Everyone knows that we had no intention or plan to storm the Grand Serail and we ordered our youths to withdraw immediately.”
“I disagree with PM Miqati who said that ousting the government is a personal vendetta, because the government represents the killers,” Geagea added.
Slamming Hizbullah for sending an Iranian-built drone over Israel, the LF leader said: “Who asked Hizbullah to send the drone? Did the government allow it to do so? The drone was sent at the expense of Lebanon and Iran obtained its images.”
“I ask the (Lebanese) defense minister whether the Lebanese army has copies of the images taken by the reconnaissance drone,” Geagea went on to say.
He stressed that “it is unacceptable to employ the interests of the Lebanese in the framework of Iran's strategy against Israel.”
Answering a question, Geagea added: “I don't know when will the government fall, but we will continue our efforts to topple it because it contains the representatives of the March 8 camp which is responsible for the assassination operations.”
Asked about Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat's remarks about preserving national unity in the country, Geagea said: “How can we speak of national unity while there are parties voicing support for a regime that sent explosives to Lebanon and while some parties have sent jihadists to support it.”
“Jumblat is not refusing to leave the government out of his fear of vacuum, but rather out of his fear of the 'monster',” added Geagea.
“We started serious efforts to ally with the centrist blocs, and this is what pushed them to speed up the assassinations and this was the reason behind the attempt on (MP) Butros Harb's life,” Geagea noted.
“The March 8 camp has been trying to cripple political life since 2005 until today,” he added.
Turning to the economic situation, Geagea said “decent living requires a good economy and a good economy requires stability which in turn requires putting an end to crime.”
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