Aoun Calls for Replacing Security Officials, Says FPM MPs Won't Resign

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Tuesday said the Constitutional Council “cannot but accept” the challenges filed against the extension of parliament's term, calling for the replacement of security officials over the dire security situation in Tripoli.

“We extensively discussed the challenge we have filed and the possible effects should it be accepted. We agreed that as is the case with any vacant seat, elections would have to take place within 60 days and the parliament would be dissolved,” Aoun said after the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc in Rabiyeh.

“As for those speaking of political vacuum, the caretaker cabinet will remain the executive authority and parliament would convene in 60 days and elections would take place, especially that all people have prepared themselves to take part in elections on June 16,” he added.

Aoun stressed that “the challenge cannot but be accepted.”

“Should it be rejected, we will review the Constitutional Council's justification and know the type of judges we have,” he went on to say.;

Asked whether the FPM's MPs would submit their resignations should the challenge be rejected, Aoun said: “We will not leave parliament and we will not abandon our mission if someone else committed a mistake. Do you want us to leave and scream outside the parliament? No, we won't do it.”

“The rotation of power and the respect of the people are the most important things and it would've been easier to endorse the 1960 law ... The rotation of power has been impeded since 1992,” he added.

The FPM and President Michel Suleiman have filed separate challenges against the extension of parliament's mandate.

The parliament on Friday voted to extend its own mandate for 17 months after the rival political parties failed to reach a new electoral law.

Turning to the security situation in the northern city of Tripoli, Aoun said: “It is strange that security deterioration always happens when there is a debate over whether to extend parliament's term or not."

“Tripoli's MPs are trying to acquit themselves although they were the ones who sponsored the gunmen, so do they really want the army to take decisive action? Let them be clear as things cannot be resolved through threats, intimidation and mutual accusations,” he added.

“Let no one tell me that Jabal Mohsen is attacking Tripoli, as they are besieged. Tripoli is being sabotaged and the slogans we've been hearing are not good at all. If Jabal Mohsen does not belong to Lebanon, let them withdraw its identity and make it part of Syria,” Aoun said of the latest clashes between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.

He accused “local forces and gunmen” of igniting the situation in Tripoli, slamming security agencies.

“We won't accept that intelligence agencies keep refraining from disclosing the information they have and they are obliged to tell the people who is shooting on whom. Things are not being addressed and we had already warned of all the things that are happening now,” Aoun added.

“The security officials must be changed and competent people must be appointed. To whom are the gunmen loyal? To MPs? Let each of them pull his group from the streets,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tripoli MP Mohammed Kabbara gave a 48-hour ultimatum for the state to control the situation in the northern city of Tripoli.

“The residents of the city will have to defend themselves if the battles continued,” Kabbara said after heading a meeting for the National Islamic Gathering.

A new wave of Syria-linked clashes between Sunni and Alawite residents of Tripoli has killed at least six people in less than 24 hours.

The latest confrontations come after a brief lull in the violence between the two sides, after a flare-up last month left 31 people dead and more than 200 wounded.

The city has so far witnessed around 17 rounds of fighting which intensified when the now more than two-year conflict erupted in Syria.

Source: Naharnet

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