Ex-PMs Hit Back at Nasrallah over Govt. Formation Accusations

Garbage containers set on fire to block the roads by the supporters of the outgoing Prime minister Saad Hariri, during a protest to reject the newly-assigned Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Lebanon's president Thursday asked the university professor and former education minister supported by the militant Hezbollah group to form a new government, breaking a weeks-long impasse amid nationwide mass protests against the country's political elite. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Former premiers Saad Hariri, Najib Miqati, Fouad Saniora and Tammam Salam on Wednesday hit back at Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah over accusations he made during his Tuesday evening televised address.

In a joint statement distributed by Hariri’s press office, the ex-PMs noted that the French initiative had called for “suspending everything related to conventional domestic politics and the issue of competition between blocs and parties for several months.”

The parliamentary blocs were supposed to “agree on a small salvation government comprised of competent specialists not named by political parties, in order to implement a purely reformist economic, financial, monetary and administrative program,” the ex-PMs said.

Stressing that they did not attempt to “form the government on behalf of PM-designate Mustafa Adib and did not try to impose a certain candidate or portfolio,” the former premiers accused Nasrallah of seeking to “spark a sectarian clash between the President and the PM-designate by claiming the presence of infringement on the President’s constitutional powers.”

They also warned that Nasrallah’s stance on cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and the economic and financial reforms “also torpedoes the economic and financial content of the French initiative.”

Moreover, the ex-PMs added: “Sayyed Nasrallah was not successful in returning to the May 2008 events to remind of the attack against Beirut, which the Lebanese have interpreted as an unacceptable threat to resort to chaos, violence and security mayhem, whose dangers would not spare anyone.”

Noting that Nasrallah “wants a government in which his party would be represented and the other parties would name their representatives for the various ministries,” the former premiers warned that this “recipe” had led to the failure of Hassan Diab’s government.

The ex-PMs concluded by stressing their keenness on national unity, the French initiative and President Emmanuel Macron’s “great role.”



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