Geagea Slams Aoun's Remarks on Army that are 'Aimed at Achieving Petty Electoral Gains'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea slammed on Wednesday the recent remarks of Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on the army, saying that the institution is in need of the people's support, not criticism, during this critical time in Lebanon.
He said in a statement: “Aoun's remarks exploited the blood of the army in order to achieve petty electoral gains.”
“The attack against the army and its commander General Jean Qahwaji at this time is no different than the assassination of Captain Samer Hanna or Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir's supporters assault against the army,” he added.
“Aoun is simply dragging the military institution towards the political debates in Lebanon at a time when we are most in need of keeping the army away from these disputes in order to allow to keep on performing its duties throughout Lebanon,” he stressed.
In addition, Geagea said: “Aoun's opinion on the mechanism to appoint individuals in the army and public institutions is a reflection of a populist mentality that are far removed from constitutional methods.”
“Are Aoun and the March 8 camp seeking to introduce vacuum to the Army Command as it has done in constitutional and security institutions before it?” he wondered.
Aoun had stressed on Tuesday that extending the term of Qahwaji “must not be the price for the troops' sacrifice in Sidon, explaining that “he does not want to manipulate the military institution's law.”
Aoun added: “We are the ones who should give our opinion regarding the army's chief as per the traditions of appointments and we are the representatives of Christians in the cabinet.”
Army 1st Lieutenant Samer Hanna was killed in August 2008 when gunmen opened fire on his helicopter over Sojod hills in south Lebanon.
Investigations revealed that Hanna's shooter is a Hizbullah member.
On Aoun's suggestion that caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel should be questioned for allowing al-Asir to grow in power, Geagea said: “The MP is trying to blame Charbel for the crisis that Lebanon has been suffering from for years.”
“He has ignored the fact that the main problem in Lebanon lies in Hizbullah's arms that have taken over political life in Lebanon and turned its politicians into hostages,” he noted.
“We should not be distracted by secondary issues that are aimed at diverting attention away from the spread of illegitimate arms in Lebanon,” he stressed.
“If one side should be summoned for questioned, then it should be the bloc that enjoys the greatest representation at cabinet and which has been busy with shady deals and campaigns of incitement aimed at covering up for the illegitimate weapons and defending their involvement in the Syrian conflict,” stated Geagea in reference to Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and Hizbullah's fighting in Syria.