Mikati says will resign if Lebanon at risk

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Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Tuesday that he will resign if he feels Lebanon is at risk, suggesting that the various political parties find a consensus on elections ahead of general polls.

“When I feel there is any risk, my resignation will not be a problem,” Mikati told reporters as he arrived in Tripoli, north Lebanon, a day after the deployment of Lebanese troops in the city.

Calm returned to Tripoli Monday, hours after the Lebanese Army deployed in the warring neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh, ending a week of clashes that rattled Lebanon’s second city.

At least 17 people have been killed and over 100 wounded in the fighting, which pitted gunmen loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in Jabal Mohsen against those who have oppose the Syrian regime.

The latest bout of hostilities was the fiercest in a series of clashes which have raised fears of the violence in Syria spilling over into Lebanon.

“When I accepted the [premiership] post, I did so in order to maintain Lebanon and my resignation will take place when I find that my presence has no value,” Mikati said.

But he warned that a government resignation would not resolve the need for new parliamentary elections, suggesting a new Cabinet that would oversee the polls, due in mid-2013.

“Even if the government resigned, we are headed toward an election problem,” Mikati said.

“So why don’t we have a comprehensive election agreement that would be referred to Parliament, and a new government with ministers not running for elections,” Mikati proposed.

 

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