LF Says Aoun 'Exaggerating' IS Threat to Defend 'Alliance with Dictators'

The Lebanese Forces on Friday accused the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc led by MP Michel Aoun of “exaggerating” the threat posed to Christians by the jihadist Islamic State group, which has displaced thousands of Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul.

“The bloc that is mourning over Christian presence has forgotten that the ISIL and it are two faces of the same coin. The ISIL is vacating Mosul of Christians while the Change and Reform bloc is vacating the presidency of Christian political presence,” the LF said in a statement recited in Maarab by MP Fadi Karam.

“The ISIL is terrorizing Christians while the March 8 forces are covering up for those who blew up Christian and non-Christian politicians and planted bombs in Christian areas,” Karam added, in an apparent reference to the Syrian regime and its Lebanese allies.

The lawmaker noted that “those who killed the moderate Sunni forces in Lebanon are the same ones who killed the forces of moderation in Syria.”

“Those who have marginalized the Sunni moderation do not have the right to criticize the ISIL,” the LF pointed out.

On Wednesday, the Change and Reform bloc condemned what it called the “elimination” of Christians in the Levant, “from Iraq to the presidential palace in Baabda.” It urged an end to “ISIL-like policies against Christians in Lebanon,” lamenting that “the rights of Christians in Lebanon are being violated on the presidential, parliamentary, and administrative levels.”

The LF charged that “Aoun was the first person to urge (Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan) Nasrallah to pounce on the Christian community” in Lebanon.

“Aoun was the first person to accuse the Syrian regime of blowing the threat of fundamentalist movements out of proportion with the aim of playing the role of the 'maniac fireman' while claiming to be the people's defender in the face of takfiris,” the party stated.

“The ISIL's practices in Iraq are rejected, but the difference between the condemnations of the Aounists and others is that the bloc is seeking to exaggerate the threat, not out of keenness on minorities but rather to confirm the validity of its alliance with dictators,” the LF said.

It accused Aoun's bloc of “exaggerating the threat without proposing a solution” and of “obstructing every solution that does not suit the agenda of the axis it belongs to.”

“The bloc wants the threat against Christians to continue in order to exploit their plight and say that the regime in Syria and Hizbullah in Lebanon are their protectors,” the LF noted.

It reminded that it was “the first to demand the demarcation of the border with Syria and the prohibition of the movement of gunmen.”

“But the March 8 forces quickly dismissed this suggestion because they want to keep the border loose and unsecured,” the LF added.

It also pointed out that the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon had “started in late 2011 and continued into the period during which the bloc obtained seats in the cabinet,” blasting it for not “addressing this problem.”

“The road to Baabda now goes through (Syria's) Kasab and (Iraq's) Mosul,” the LF added sarcastically.

“Wherever his interest is, the general (Aoun) finds (equal Christian-Muslim power-sharing), even in an axis containing 'the regime of jails and graves' as Aoun himself called it during the (1989-90) Liberation War” against Syrian forces in Lebanon, the LF added.

Earlier on Friday, Change and Reform bloc MP Ibrahim Kanaan snapped back at critics, claiming a proposal for direct presidential elections is constitutional and aimed at boosting the role of Christians in governance.

“The problem in the election of the president is not in the lack of quorum (in parliament) but the unconstitutional practice of politics,” said Kanaan during a press conference he held to brief reporters on a draft-law that his bloc proposed on Thursday.

“The Christians have been marginalized because they are being elected by people from outside their sects,” the lawmaker said.

Under the proposal, the president would be directly elected by the people in two rounds.

In the first round, only Christians would vote for the candidates. And in the second, the polls would be held at the level of the entire nation and both Muslims and Christians would vote for the two candidates who received the majority of votes in the first round.



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