Bassil Says Berri Not an 'Impartial' Mediator, Urges Nasrallah to Intervene
Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Sunday said Speaker Nabih Berri has not been an “impartial” mediator in the cabinet formation process, urging Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to step in as a “friend” and “referee.”
“I entrust him with the issue and I entrust him with the rights. He knows that we are being targeted and that everything happening is aimed at harming us and he knows that we have made several concessions in the governmental file,” Bassil said in a televised address.
“I, Jebran Bassil, without putting any burden on you, would accept what you would accept for yourself. These are my last words regarding the government,” the FPM chief added.
He noted that the cabinet formation crisis has unveiled “more dangerous and deeper crises -- the crises of the system, constitution, practices and intentions.”
“We're defending our rights to protect our free existence,” Bassil said, in an apparent reference to the Christian community.
“You want to coerce us to take our vote of confidence in order to implicate us, hold us responsible and draw people’s ire against us,” Bassil went on to say, addressing PM-designate Saad Hariri and his allies.
“You will not take from us through pressure and people's pain and crises, nor through sanctions from the entire world, what you did not manage to take from 2005 until today. You are bothered by partnership and you do not want to respect jurisdiction! You also do not want reforms and you only want to get rid of us! You will not succeed in this!” Bassil added, referring to political rivals such as Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat.
Commenting on the structure of the so-called 8-8-8 government, the FPM chef said “real parity is 12 ministers named by Christians and 12 named by Muslims, not eight named by Christians and 16 named by Muslims.”
“This is called tripartite power-sharing and it is rejected!” he emphasized, referring to a system in which Christians, Sunnis and Shiites have equal shares in power.
Moreover, Bassil said the FPM wants the 2022 parliamentary elections to be held on time. He however added that his Movement is with organizing early parliamentary elections “if there will be a delay in the government's formation.”