Aoun: I'm Against Giving Suleiman Portfolios as He's Not a Centrist Anymore

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Wednesday stressed that should the rival March 14 camp decide to join Najib Miqati's cabinet, it must "act differently" regarding the controversial issues that felled Saad Hariri's government.

In an interview on his movement's mouthpiece OTV, Aoun went on to say: "Should the other camp agree on our plan for solving the controversial issues, we will give them the 'blocking-third'" veto power in cabinet.

He stressed that the Hizbullah-led camp would halt cooperation with the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is one of the most controversial topics in the country.

"The STL has not respected Lebanese sovereignty and its impartiality is questionable."

Aoun accused President Michel Suleiman of forming electoral lists to challenge the FPM in the last parliamentary and municipal elections.

"The centrist bloc was the U.S. embassy's idea, so that Suleiman would tip any vote in parliament," Aoun told his interviewer.

"The issue of the president's share (in cabinet) is a farce that is not subject to any constitutional provisions or the criteria of popular support, and personally I won't give Suleiman any portfolio as he is not a centrist anymore," Aoun added.

The FPM leader said he preferred "proportional representation" in cabinet.

"We occupy 40% of the new majority's seats in parliament, so we must have 13 portfolios in the new cabinet," Aoun said.

On January 12, the FPM, Hizbullah and their allies toppled Saad Hariri's cabinet in a long-running feud over the U.N.-backed STL, which Hizbullah believes will accuse several of its members of being involved in the 2005 murder of former premier Rafik Hariri.

Hizbullah-backed Najib Miqati was then appointed to form a new government, which Hariri's alliance has refused to join and has labeled "Hizbullah's government".

Hariri has refused to join Miqati's government unless he guarantees his cabinet will see the tribunal through.

Hizbullah meanwhile is demanding Lebanon end all cooperation with the court, which it says is a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy.

While Hariri and his allies won Lebanon's last parliamentary election in 2009, shifting alliances today have positioned the Hizbullah-led camp as the majority after Druze leader Walid Jumblat moved closer to the Shiite party.

Answering a question, Aoun stressed that "Hizbullah does not pose a threat to Christians."

"Whoever claims that the Resistance is targeting Christians is mistaken, because on the contrary, it is fighting Israel," he added.

"Washington thinks that the solution to Israel's demographic problem lies in the naturalization (of Palestinian refugees) in Lebanon at the expense of Christians," he went on to say.

Aoun noted that Syria was not "imposing a certain policy" on the Hizbullah-led camp. "But whether we like it or not there's common security and commercial exchange between the two nations," he added.

"If all the countries in the world asked Syria to return militarily to Lebanon, it would not return," Aoun said.

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