Jumblat Condemns 'Defamation' Campaign against Hariri

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Progressive Socialist Party ex-MP Walid Jumblat on Tuesday condemned what he described as a “defamation” campaign against Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

“Our partner in the country is like a robot. He has no feelings and unfortunately no appreciation of anything, even if the matter leads to economic deterioration. At least this is how things look,” Jumblat tweeted, in an apparent reference to the Hizbullah-led camp.

Noting that the Lebanese situation is being “linked” to the political developments in Iraq and Syria, Jumblat reiterated his call for a “settlement” and emphasized that the formation of a new government is a “priority.”

He also deplored “defamation against Sheikh Saad Hariri.”

Two Hizbullah MPs and a pro-Hizbullah ex-minister have launched blistering verbal attacks against Hariri in recent days. Their criticism has also targeted ex-PM Rafik Hariri’s economic policies.

The new government was on the verge of formation on October 29 after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of pro-Hizbullah Sunni MPs surfaced.

Hizbullah has insisted that the six Sunni MPs should be given a seat in the government, refraining from providing Hariri with the names of its three Shiite ministers in a bid to press him.

Hariri has rejected the demand, announcing that he’d rather step down than give the aforementioned lawmakers a seat from his own share in the government.

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