March 8 Studying Alternatives to Replace Miqati

Hizbullah and its allies have left Prime Minister Najib Miqati with very little room to maneuver regarding the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, reported the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah newspaper on Sunday.

The parliamentary majority believes that the decision to fund the tribunal lies in its hands and not the premier.

March 8 sources told the newspaper that the camp is starting to study possible alternatives to Miqati should he insist on funding the STL, regardless of President Michel Suleiman and Nation Struggle Front leader MP Walid Jumblat’s positions on the international court.

The sources revealed that several alternatives are being examined, included former ministers Abdul Rahim Mrad and Adnan Addoum.

Hizbullah circles asserted that the decision is final and that Lebanon will announce its disassociation with the tribunal at the right time, added al-Seyassah.

Meanwhile, National Struggle Front sources told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Sunday that there can be no escaping the funding, adding that it is “out of the question” for Miqati to retract the commitment he made to the international community over the funding.

Ministerial sources from the majority stated that direct contacts between the government factions over the funding have not started.

They revealed that Tuesday’s cabinet session will not address this issue, but it will be limited to tackling Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi’s proposals over the state budget law.

They said that a suggestion will be made to postpone tackling the STL funding until December.

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