Gemayel: Suleiman Assumes Responsibilities amid State's Paralysis, Hizbullah Arms Hinder Its Establishment

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel stated on Thursday that President Michel Suleiman “assumes all responsibilities amid the paralysis in the official institutions,” considering that the spread of weapons with militias is the “main obstacle for the establishment of the state.”

"Suleiman took the oath to assume his responsibilities and he represents Lebanon in all international forums and thus, he should bear all responsibilities amid the current paralysis of the state,” Gemayel said at a ceremony at the party's office in Beirut's Ashrafieh neighborhood.

He added: “We should also as a party bear the responsibility along with our allies and propose initiatives to get the country out of the current situation.”

"Is it possible that after four years we did not reach consensus over an electoral law? Is it possible that we did not form a new cabinet? How can we justify the Constitutional Council's dysfunction when it is above all authorities and our last resort?”

The Council, which was set to study petitions filed against the extension of parliament’s term, failed to convene on Tuesday over lack of quorum, a sign that several of its members intended to validate the extension law.

Gemayel reiterated his rejection of all electoral laws that do not guarantee “equality and partnership between all Lebanese factions.”

"We are not seeking personal gains or additional parliamentary seats, but instead we want an electoral law that secures national interest and Lebanon's unity,” the Phalange leader stressed.

"Through partnership democracy is achieved, not vice versa.”

The former president expressed that stability and sovereignty “cannot be achieved amid the spread of weapons with groups other than the army and the security forces.”

"Arms spread in militias' hands, especially in the hands of Hizbullah are the main obstacle for the state's establishment and the country's stability,” he considered.

Addressing Hizbullah, Gemayel asked: “Who are you loyal to? Lebanon, Syria or Iran? What does your loyalty mean after you paralyzed the institutions and implicated Lebanon in a battle that the country has nothing to do with?”

The Christian leader said commenting on the killing of Lebanese Option Party member Hashem Salman that the “victim is always Lebanon, and the source of the bullet is always the same, whether in this crime, in the assassination of (former Minister) Pierre Gemayel or in the incident that killed (Army's First Lieutenant) Samer Hanna.”

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.

Meanwhile, Hanna was killed in 2008 when gunmen opened fire on his helicopter over Sojod hills in south Lebanon. Hizbullah member, Mustafa Hassan Muqdim, was identified as the shooter.

Gemayel, however, rejected blaming Hizbullah only: “All leaders in Lebanon are held responsible for these incidents because at one moment in history, and for a reason or another we neglected and failed.”

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