Jumblat Reveals Plan to Replace Rifi with Ali Hajj: It's All about Protecting the Intelligence Bureau

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat blamed on Friday the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Miqati on “political factions that prevented him from even assigning the head of the Civil Service Office."

"This issue is about protecting an important system in the state which was established by (the chief of the Intelligence Bureau of the Internal Security Forces) Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan,” Jumblat told LBCI television, noting that the March 8 coalition “did not give him any chance in assigning even the head of the Civil Service Office”.

The Druze leader said that March 8 rejects the intelligence bureau: “Meanwhile, we want cooperation between all institutions in the country and we do not want to abolish the intelligence bureau.”

He revealed a plan that consists of replacing Internal Security Forces chief Asraf Rifi with General Ali Hajj.

"Although he was technically considered innocent of the killing of (late PM) Rafik Hariri, we do, however, consider him politically involved in the assassination."

Jumblat remarked: “We do not dictate Miqati and we supported him for the sake of stability in the country.”

"I support PM Miqati's statement and we are not the ones who pushed the country into the crisis, but rather some March 8 hardliners who cannot accept the approach of dialogue," Jumblat said in a phone call with al-Manar television.

Commenting on the parliamentary elections, the PSP leader announced that he will submit his nomination based on the 1960's law.

"Only the parliament can replace the 1960's law,” he stated.

Jumblat's statement came shortly after Miqati announced his resignation after a cabinet session in which he failed to pass the extension of Rifi's term and the formation of the committee to oversee the elections.

Miqati stressed during his resignation speech that all political forces must shoulder their responsibilities to “pull Lebanon out of the unknown.”

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