Phalange Fears Salam 'Stays a PM-Designate', Urges Quick Cabinet Formation

The Phalange Party on Monday urged Premier-designate Tammam Salam to “quickly” form a new cabinet, expressing that it fears "a plan to keep him as the PM-designate."

"We urge Salam to quickly resolve the matter and form a cabinet that can face the current political, security and social crises in the country,” the party's political bureau said in a released statement after its weekly meeting.

It warned: “There is a plan to keep Salam as a premier-designate to obstruct matters and keep the country without a cabinet through linking the government's formation to other infinite issues.”

On the death of Lebanese Option Party member Hashem Salman on Sunday, the statement commented:

“We condemn the arranged killing of Salman and we consider it to be a criminal act that targets free political work and allows for murder to become a legal tool to silence opposite points of view,” the Phalange stated.

It stressed: “We urge authorities to arrest and penalize the perpetrator and all those that are involved in the crime.”

"The killer's face and voice were identified which defies any attempt to hide the truth.”

Salman was killed on Sunday and at least eleven others were wounded in a scuffle between supporters of Hizbullah and protesters near the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The Demonstrators were holding a sit-in near the embassy in the Bir Hassan area south of Beirut, to protest Hizbullah's involvement in the war raging in Syria.

According to LBCI television, all the wounded belong to the Lebanese Option Party, which is led by the March 14 Shiite politician Ahmed Asaad.

The political bureau also tackled the security plan carried by the army and the security forces to preserve stability in the northern city of Tripoli.

"We think the measures taken are a good start that need further improvement, until Tripoli becomes completely disarmed,” it expressed, adding that the plan should be applied in all Lebanese regions “without any political cover.”

"We encourage the army to continue its deployment in Tripoli without any discrimination between one region and another, or between a group of people and another.”

The politburo reiterated its condemnation of Hizbullah's involvement in Syria's war, considering that it “forcefully drags Lebanon into the Syrian-Iranian axis.

"It is also a violation of Lebanon's policy and of the Baabda Declaration, and affects the country's membership in the Arab League,” it expressed.

"Hizbullah's interference in Syria establishes the start of a long conflict with Arab and foreign countries and its repercussions have begun with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council advising their citizens not to travel to Lebanon. It also harms the tourism season in the country.”

Hizbullah fighters spearheaded a devastating 17-day assault on the Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border which culminated on Wednesday with its recapture from the rebels.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah had previously justified the group's involvement in Syria by saying they were defending Lebanese-inhabited border villages inside Syria and Shiite holy sites.

But during a May 25 speech marking the 13th anniversary of Israel's military withdrawal from Lebanon, Nasrallah said the Takfiris are the “most prevailing group in the Syrian opposition,” warning against a defeat against them in the ongoing war in Syria.

He said: “If Syria falls in the hands of the Takfiris and the United States, the resistance will become under a siege and Israel will enter Lebanon. If Syria falls, the Palestinian cause will be lost.”

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