Aoun Slams Hariri's 'Illegal' Efforts to Extend Qahwaji's Term, Vows to Make a Challenge

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Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun totally rejected attempts to extend the tenure army chief General Jean Qahwaji, vowing to challenge it before the Constitutional Council.

Aoun accused in an interview on Thursday former Prime Minister Saad Hariri of exploiting the recent two-day battle in the southern city of Sidon to push forward the extension of Qahwaji's term, considering it “illegal.”

The army fought a battle against Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir in the southern town of Abra.

Eighteen soldiers were killed, 50 were wounded in the unrest and more than 20 of al-Asir's supporters were killed, according to a security official.

Dozens of them were also arrested, but there was no sign of the cleric.

“I am against any extension... We should respect the law,” Aoun said.

He slammed the parliamentary session set for extending the term of security leaders, stressing that his Change and Reform bloc will “vote against it.”

On Tuesday, Aoun criticized al-Mustaqbal for seeking an extension.

He said that since the post was reserved for the Maronite sect, then Christians had the priority before Hariri to give their opinion on it.

But Hariri snapped back, saying the army was not owned by one sect.

The Christian leader pointed out to al-Akhbar that there are several officers that are competent enough to be appointed in high posts in the army.

“I already began preparing my challenge against the extension,” Aoun said.

He noted that if the parliament approved the extension draft-law then all Brig. Generals and Colonels terms would be prolonged for another three years, sarcastically adding that the Lebanese would then have a “group of elderly in the army.”

The extension of Qahwaji's term which ends this September when he turns 60 – the maximum age for the post of the army commander – had created a disputed among the political foes.

On Wednesday, Speaker Nabih Berri called for a parliamentary session in the first week of July.

Asked if he will stand alone in the battle against the extension, the FPM leader slammed the political leaders in the country, saying that “they do whats in their best interest.”

“The constitution was drafted to be imposed not violated,” he said.

Political leaders that support the extension of Qahwaji's mandate argue that the security situation in the country can't endure any vacancy in military posts.

On the differences between the FPM and the March 8 allies, in particular, Hizbullah and AMAL movement, Aoun told al-Akhbar that the rift is with Speaker Nabih Berri.

“We can fix it all. I will have to wait and see what happens,” Aoun said.

He noted that the continuous sharp differences among allies forces each party to reconsider its options.

“I am holding onto the implementation of the law. We will fight and this is what distinguishes us,” Aoun added.

Comments 26
Thumb primesuspect 27 June 2013, 08:54

guys guys, he's wearing the same pajamas as in 1990!!!!! yiiiiiiii

is he that poor? after all the money bashar gave him and his in-law stole from us!

Naharnet, thank u for this gr8 picture!!!!

Thumb christianimmigrant 27 June 2013, 09:56

Wrong Phil, you all are blinded by hatred. Aoun has so many mistakes but you cannot discredit the man for wanting democracy to prevail. What the deputies did last month extending their term is a disgrace to Lebanon and us people above all. Even Egypt had its own democratic elections, hell even Yemen had one under extraordinary situations. Why can we have parties and festivals and all but we cannot have democratic elections? Why do we need to extend Kahwaji's term when there are hundreds of capable generals? This has nothing to do with Shamel Roukoz who is regardless of everyone’s hate, one of the best generals. But I wouldn’t want him to become commander in chief just because I don’t want idiots like Geagea and Hariri to make a big story out of it. Let Lebanon survive, let us all return to Lebanon at least for vacation, why do you all aim at cancelling each other?

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 10:28

Democracy my ass. His first son in law stole the ministry of energy and now he wants to set-up his other son-in-law to be the future president. He is dreaming. Even his allies don't want him. He is a wacko.

Thumb justice 27 June 2013, 11:00

3 minutes ago MP Bahia Hariri was informed by the army intelligence that Hizbullah had vacated the apartments in Abra and handed them over to the military.

Seems Assir was right all along:)) Notice, how the army intelligence was informed that HA vacated voluntarily the apartments! It did not seem they forced HA to vacate! Why did they not vacate them earlier???

Thumb justice 27 June 2013, 11:03

9 minutes ago Future TV: The army intelligence detained Resistance Brigades' member Mahmoud al-Sous over Sidon clashes.

But why???? HA was never involved in the Saida clashes????!!!! Army intelligence arrested a sous for what? Shame on you!

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 15:19

Did someone just say that the ministry of energy has become profitable? That someone either doesn't live in this country or is a total idiot. Electricity was always bad in Lebanon, but never this bad! We spent money on two boats: one is often out of order and the other one must be the boat of the Merchant of Venise (we are still waiting for its arrival).

Thumb primesuspect 27 June 2013, 08:58

comment #2

wat's with these demented people pointing fingers at people. that's sick!!!!

Thumb geha 27 June 2013, 09:04

illegal? what he is talking about is illegal.
nowhere in the constitution it is said that people are appointed by their sects!
aoun, go play in your corner. your son in law will not become the next army chief.

Thumb geha 27 June 2013, 10:58

no you are totally wrong: in taef it never was said that the cabinet should represent powers according to the parliament.
this is a total BS.
go and check.

Missing --karim_m1 27 June 2013, 09:09

God bless General Aoun for his staunch patriotism, defense of Lebanon's democracy, and opposition to February 14-sponsored terrorism.

Thumb sophia_angle 27 June 2013, 09:17

Naharnet is a very nice site, it becomes an excellent one each time GMA is on its page...lvu GMA n Naharnet :)

Default-user-icon Amir (Guest) 27 June 2013, 09:19

“I am against any extension... We should respect the law,” Aoun said.
This is what he said.
Therefore the present self extended parlement is ILLEGAL........
Unless kawagoe makes self extension.....which could become illegally legal...

Does anyone gets it

Thumb Senescence 28 June 2013, 03:59


Missing lqu7 27 June 2013, 10:14

It's frustrating to see only the General going by the laws of the country, while the rest of the farm boys speak of "dawle" and "dustoor". The general is, and will always be right on everything.

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 10:33

You sound like a lamb. Lambs are controlled by dogs you know.

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 10:27

Aoun wants his other son-in-law Chamel Roukoz to become the Army Chief. What happened to Change and Reform? Aoun = Thief No. 1 and his supporters are so blinded by hate they can't seem to see the crystal-clear truth.

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 12:56

The only reasons Aoun opposed extension of the parliament is to have the right to oppose the renewal for the Army Chief and the President, one he wants to give for his son-in-law and the other for himself. Otherwise, let him and his PMs resign from the parliament and force new elections for their seats. Lambs still don't get it.

Missing thomas... 27 June 2013, 11:44

he said no to rifi. he is saying no to kahwaji,he said no to parliament.
live with it that is protecting don't like it start packing.

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 12:58

Let him resign if he refuses the parliament term extension. Then I will respect and believe him. Otherwise, he is a liar and a hypocrite. Lebanese are smart (well all except Aounis) and they know the truth from cheap political maneuvers for personal gains.

Thumb Senescence 28 June 2013, 04:04

If he resigns, he's faction that is for the stringent imposition of the rule of law will be diminished.

Think of it this way: If your neighbors in the building are divided over burning the whole thing down, should you leave in protest or stay and defend your position/see to it that nobody gets the gasoline? The only logical option would be for the whole parliament to resign.

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 12:57

Lek min 3am ye7ke, ekhir man yatakallam. Na3je beik

Thumb dasphinx 27 June 2013, 13:00

No way! I am shocked! (NOT!)
Aoun is amazing. He is stealing in the name of reform and change and his lambs still don't see it. He played them to fear the Sunnis while the country is being raped by Hezbollah.

Default-user-icon Lebanese_first (Guest) 27 June 2013, 13:20

Don't you get it ?
Unfortunately, in the recent history, many chief general were elected president. Chehab could have been one of the best president, but by accepting to move directly from the Army to the Presidency, he opened a Pandora's box !

Aoun is still seeking the presidency at any cost.

Having a less-recognized name, junior, not experienced chief general will create less competition come election time. Kahwaji is now the contender in chief to replace the current president.

Missing allouchi 27 June 2013, 14:50

Z general the Amazing little man...The "Boumeh" without substance...unbelievable that he still has some brainless followers...

Thumb benzona 27 June 2013, 14:54

LOL.... His followers aren't brainless, they follow their interests such as FT and his 72 virgins, ehhhhhh I mean his 72 aliases.

Missing allouchi 27 June 2013, 17:05