Hariri Blasts Bassil, Says Backs 'Ugly Ouster' of Govt. 'if It Fails'
Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri lashed out Thursday at Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil and distanced himself from the latest violent protests, as he said that he supports the “ugly ouster” of the government “if it fails” to rescue the economy.
“The campaign is ongoing through holding us responsible for the past 30 years and issuing prejudiced verdicts against us. And if Mr. Jebran Bassil thinks that he can jail all people he is dreaming, because this is an issue that insults people's dignities,” said Hariri in a chat with reporters at the Center House following a meeting with ex-PMs Najib Miqati, Fouad Saniora and Tammam Salam.
“There is a person who was in charge of the electricity sector for 11 years and he cost the state treasury $42 billion in losses. Let the people ask hold him accountable over that,” Hariri added, in a jab at Bassil.
“If they want to create a mental hospital and launch constant threats, I tell them that we only fear Almighty God and God is with us,” the ex-PM went on to say.
Responding to a questions, Hariri said “Bassil only exists because of Hizbullah.”
“The problem in the country today is Jebran Bassil's practices and who is protecting them? Hizbullah certainly does not approve of them most of the time, but in the end Hizbullah bears the responsibility because it is protecting Jebran Bassil,” Hariri went on to say.
As for the government, the ex-PM acknowledged that “is it working.”
“But I don't understand why PM Diab is insisting on holding us responsible for the past 30 years and why he is echoing the words of Jebran Bassil and the president,” Hariri added.
Asked whether he supports the toppling of the government, the ex-PM said: “If it fails, I will certainly support ousting it in an ugly manner.”
Asked whether he accepts to be reappointed as premier should the government fall, Hariri said “not with Jebran Bassil.”
He also denied that his supporters are behind the renewed protests on the streets.
“These are not my supporters. My supporters do not vandalize nor kill. Rafik Hariri's popular base and advocates have not harmed anyone in their lives. The supporters of Rafik Hariri and Saad Hariri build rather than destroy,” he added.