National Dialogue Faces Gloomy Fate amid Frustration from March 14 Conditions

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A national dialogue session scheduled to be held on January 7 is likely to face the same fate of its predecessor after the March 14 opposition alliance threw the ball in President Michel Suleiman's court again saying the resignation of the government is a prerequisite for its attendance of the talks.

Baabda palace sources told An Nahar daily published on Friday that “the opposition can't throw the ball of the cabinet change in the president's court by linking the issue to dialogue.”

A government change is stated in “the constitution and comes through either the resignation of the third of its members or the stepping down of the prime minister or by the parliament's removal of its vote of confidence,” they said.

They described as unconstitutional any attempt to give the responsibility of the government change to the president, the sources stated.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria daily, Suleiman held onto calling for a new round of all-party talks at Baabda palace on January 7 to discuss any controversial issue. “If agreement is reached, then the problem could be resolved constitutionally.”

The last session that was set to be held on November 28 was postponed after the opposition boycotted it for its refusal to sit at the dialogue table with Hizbullah and calling on the cabinet's resignation.

In the past week, March 14 opposition politicians renewed their demand for the government’s resignation as a condition for attending the dialogue with the Hizbullah-led March 8 majority alliance.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Thursday that the alternative to dialogue is the resignation of the cabinet, adding assassinations of opposition figures prevented March 14 representatives from attending the all-party talks.

But sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper that Suleiman has expressed frustration from Geagea's open letter in which he also said that the Baabda Declaration is only a reflection of the beliefs of March 14 and the president.

The declaration has become part of the Lebanese state's policies by abiding to neutrality and dissociation from anything that divides the country and the Lebanese, they said.

National dialogue participants have for the first time issued such a document which future presidents and prime ministers would abide by, the sources quoted Suleiman as saying.

The Baabda Declaration which was adopted by the bickering March 8 and March 14 camps in June pledges the commitment of both parties to dialogue and keeping Lebanon away from the policy of regional and international conflicts to spare it the negative repercussions of regional crises.

Comments 5
Thumb geha 28 December 2012, 08:50

and it is constitutional to say that to have this cabinet resign, an agreement should be made on the succeeding one, and an agreement on the election law is required?
m8 wants the dialogue just for that and nothing else: they want to take once more.

Thumb jcamerican 28 December 2012, 11:16

Looks like there will be a repeat of 2008.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 28 December 2012, 14:28

it looks like if bilad el sham is by the corner , as only solution?

Thumb mckinl 28 December 2012, 11:40

Gemayel says Kataeb will be there ... It is only a matter of time before the imperatives of Lebanon's crises brush aside Future and the LF.

Default-user-icon Disgusted (Guest) 28 December 2012, 13:17

WHAT'S THE USE OF A DIALOGUE...? you have a bunch of self centered political figures who are nothing but modern day ali babas? All of them, no exception... some armed to the teeth and some wanting to get armed...