Soaid Says March 14 Rejects to Join Government with Hizbullahإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanon's anti-Syria bloc said on Saturday that it refuses to join a government with Hizbullah, a day after it lost an influential member in a Beirut car bombing.
The attack in the heart of the capital on Friday killed seven people including March 14 bloc member Mohammed Shatah. Hours later, the bloc implied it held Hizbullah and its ally Syrian President Bashar Assad responsible.
The attack comes nine months into a major political crisis in Lebanon.
Ever since a caretaker government headed by prime minister Najib Miqati resigned, the country's main political forces have been too divided to agree on a new government.
"Today we propose a government composed of representatives of our camp and of centrists, without Hizbullah," said March 14 general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid.
"We have, in the past, participated in national unity governments (with Hizbullah), made compromises, initiated dialogue to try and convince this party to stop resorting to violence and killing to reach its political goals," Soaid told Agence France Presse.
"But the killing machine has not stopped," he added.
"Today we are calling for the creation of a government composed of our group along with centrists, excluding Hizbullah."
Friday's attack came amid deep tensions in Lebanon linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria.
Hizbullah has sent in thousands of fighters to back Assad's troops, defying repeated calls to keep out of the conflict.
March 14 was created in 2005, after the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Assad's opponents in Lebanon blame Hariri's killing and that of 12 other high-profile politicians, intellectuals and security officials on the Damascus regime.
Although an international outcry over Hariri's assassination forced Assad to withdraw Syrian troops from Lebanon later that year, Damascus has continued to exert significant influence through its allies.
After Miqati resigned in March, pro-March 14 politician Tammam Salam was named to take his place but the country's deep divisions have prevented the formation of a new government.
Hizbullah has proposed the formation of a national unity government, bringing together its allies, March 14 and centrist ministers.
But Hizbullah and its allies insist they must control key portfolios such as the foreign and interior ministries.