Hariri Says Coalition May Ask for 'March 14 Cabinet' after Shatah's Murderإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Al-Mustaqbal movement leader Saad Hariri warned late Friday that the March 14 alliance could impose tougher conditions on the form of the new government after the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah.
In remarks to LBCI TV station, the former prime minister said: “We were asking for a neutral cabinet, but now we could call for … (the formation of) a government (made up) of March 14” figures.
Shatah, who was Hariri's adviser, was killed in a car bombing in downtown Beirut on Friday.
Premier-designate Tammam Salam has so far failed to form a new cabinet over conditions and counter-conditions set by the rival parties.
The March 14 alliance is sticking to its demand for a neutral cabinet, while the Hizbullah-led March 8 camp is calling for a national unity cabinet based on the 9-9-6 formula.
“We are not afraid of anyone,” Hariri said.
He said in a statement that the ones who are running away from international justice and refusing to appear before the international tribunal were behind Shatah's assassination.
Hariri said those responsible are "the same ones who are opening the doors of evil and chaos into Lebanon" and "brought regional fires to our country," in a clear reference to Hizbullah's armed intervention in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
But Hizbullah strongly denounced Shatah's assassination, saying it serves "the enemies of Lebanon."
Hariri made other remarks to Future TV, describing the former finance minister as a “moderate.”
He remained steadfast to continue in the path of the March 14 alliance, which was formed after the massive suicide bombing in 2005 in downtown Beirut — some four blocks from the site of the explosion — that killed Hariri's father, Rafik, also a former prime minister.
“We will not give up our principles,” the Mustaqbal movement leader told Future.
“They killed us and will continue to murder us. But we won't stop … because our faith in Lebanon is huge,” he said.
Hariri urged his supporters to be “patient and wise” to rebuild the Lebanon they dream of.