Suleiman Reiterates Insistence on Baabda Declaration, Slams Those Seeking 'Constituent Assembly'

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Former President Michel Suleiman on Thursday stressed keenness on the Baabda Declaration that he brokered in 2012, as he criticized Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun's latest presidential proposals.

“The Taef Accord ended the wars of others on Lebanon's soil and the Baabda Declaration was aimed at preventing war among the Lebanese on the soil of others,” said Suleiman in a televised speech marking one year since the presidential vacuum started.

The address was delivered after a meeting for the Republic Gathering, which Suleiman heads. The gathering comprises Suleiman's ministers in Tammam Salam's cabinet – Samir Moqbel, Alice Shabtini and Abdul Mutalleb Hennawi – Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, a number of ex-ministers, and several political, economic, academic, civil society and media figures.

Suleiman called on all political forces to “abide by the Baabda Declaration to preserve the state's sovereignty across all Lebanese regions.”

On Wednesday, Hizbullah's top lawmaker Mohammed Raad dismissed the Baabda Declaration as “merely a transcript of a (national dialogue) session.”

“We don't want to exhume the dead from the graves,” Raad answered when asked about the declaration during a TV interview. In 2013, Raad, who attended the 2012 dialogue session, said the Baabda Declaration was “born dead”, accusing the rival March 14 camp of smuggling “arms and fighters” into war-torn Syria.

Hizbullah has openly sent elite fighters across the border to aid the Syrian regime in the face of an Islamist-led uprising. The Baabda Declaration calls for dissociating Lebanon from the regional crises, especially the conflict in Syria.

Separately, Suleiman called on the lawmakers who are boycotting voting sessions to head to parliament and elect a new president, warning that “it is unacceptable to jeopardize the fate of the country.”

“The Taef Accord and the Constitution must be immunized, and this begins with the election of a new president, instead of promoting the idea of a so-called constituent assembly,” the ex-president added.

He also slammed “any form of partitioning” or “constitutional heresies,” in an apparent jab at MP Michel Aoun.

On Friday, Aoun blamed the current political crisis on “the limitation of the presidential powers” after the Taef Accord and “the lack of participation by all the Lebanese factions” in the country's political life.

He called for choosing one of four solutions: a two-phased election of the president by the people, a popular referendum that is binding for parliament, a parliamentary vote for the “two most representative Maronite MPs”, or holding parliamentary polls based on a new and balanced electoral law before organizing the presidential vote.

As for the work of Salam's cabinet, Suleiman warned against “paralyzing the government” or “any attempt to topple it.”


Comments 5
Missing peace 21 May 2015, 21:53

he is more lebanese than you ll ever be....

Missing peace 21 May 2015, 23:24

seems you are very good at insulting people, it seems the only thing you are good at...keep up the job but be more creative next time will you?

too much frustrations i guess...

Missing humble 22 May 2015, 10:20

Ebola has destroyed "National Unity" and the will to live together.
This is the biggest crime against Lebanon.

Thumb -phoenix1 22 May 2015, 14:14

@lebanon08. Is there any single person that opposes your Hezbollah-led M8 side that doesn't end up being called by names? Isn't there one person who is patriotic enough to be called at least in decent ways? Look ya 08, president Sleymen is one who has had enough guts to refuse to ply to Hezbollah's proscribed aims. he has not bowed to Aoun's incessant attacks and has never taken orders neither from M8 nor from M14. I am sure that Sleyman has left behind his footprints in Baabda palace, even those are a lot more noble and meaningful that the squatter, traitor and deserter Aoun you wish to seat in his place. What you really want is a lapdog and certainly not a real leader. Your wait will be eternal, sorry.

Thumb -phoenix1 22 May 2015, 15:09

Humble, Ebola doesn't want national unity, it only aims for national impunity, that's all.