Miqati Says Majority is Not Santa Clausإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati mocked the March 14 opposition alliance for thinking that the parliamentary majority is “Santa Claus” and would present the government's resignation as a gift.
In remarks to As Safir daily published Monday, Miqati said his government has succeeded in thwarting several plots aimed at targeting Lebanon's stability despite its inability “to mark big scores due to this difficult stage.”
“The cabinet was able to guarantee a minimum level of internal stability amid the high level of regional tension,” he said.
“Does the March 14 team believe that the current majority is Santa Claus and distributes political gifts?” Miqati wondered. “Would it have accepted such a resignation had it been in power?”
But March 14 MP Marwan Hamadeh snapped back, telling Future TV: “We know that he (Miqati) is not Santa Claus given the difficult living conditions (of the Lebanese), the demands of the public sector and the failure of the government to approve the wages scale.”
The opposition has been calling for the cabinet's resignation since the Oct. 19 assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Wissam al-Hasan.
Al-Hasan was killed in Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district in a car bomb blast which the March 14 alliance blamed on the government.
Miqati reiterated that he has advocated an “integrated process” that would include an agreement on an electoral draft-law and its adoption by the parliament in parallel with the formation of a neutral cabinet that would oversee the 2013 polls.
According to his proposal, the members of such a government would not be candidates for the parliamentary elections.
He said it was a shame to hold the parliamentary elections in 2013 based on the winner-takes-all system of the 1960 law, which also considers the qada an electoral district.
According to Miqati, the law has become obsolete.
The government has approved a law that divides Lebanon into 13 districts and is based on proportional representation but parliament has so far failed to agree on it or on other electoral draft-laws.
The prime minister also hoped that the elections would lead to the formation of a balancing parliamentary bloc of centrists that would be able to limit the tense divisions between the March 8 majority alliance and the opposition.