Bassil won't break ties with Hezbollah despite 'strong blow'
Hezbollah’s cover for Monday’s cabinet session was a “strong blow to the Free Patriotic Movement and its head Jebran Bassil, who will hold a press conference today and is expected to mainly address Hezbollah in it,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Bassil “will not break ties with Hezbollah and he will wait to see if Hezbollah will break ties with him,” senior FPM sources told al-Akhbar.
Monday’s session was “a strong step from Hezbollah in this direction, and the party’s clinging to Suleiman Franjieh’s nomination is also insistence by the party on deepening the separation,” the sources added.
“As long as Hezbollah is clinging to the political establishment and to aiding it in the implementation of its agenda, the (Mar Mikhail) Agreement will be exhausting itself,” the sources said.
The growing differences had started with “the electricity file and then the expat voting file, whose price was paid by Hezbollah itself, all the way to the parliamentary alliances whose price was also paid by the party,” the sources pointed out, while also citing “the pressure to designate (Najib) Mikati as premier, not pressing him to form a government all the way to yesterday’s session.”
MP Salim Aoun of the FPM had announced Monday that the caretaker cabinet session was “a blatant message from our allies.”
“This obligates us to reevaluate these alliances, seeing as the Lebanese Forces has taken a stance that resembles ours despite the differences between us,” Aoun added.
MP Asaad Dergham of the FPM meanwhile said that “the Shiite Duo is impeding the presidential election sessions and is betting on our fatigue in order to negotiate over its candidate Suleiman Franjieh.”
“As an advice, I tell them that this matter will increase Christian resentment towards them,” Dergham added.