Bassil Chooses ‘Lebanon’s Stability’ over Becoming President

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil attends a joint press conference after a conference on Syrian refugees at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin October 28, 2014. Representatives of around 40 states and NGOs met for a conference on Syrian refugees and the neighbouring countries bearing the brunt of the crisis. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / TOBIAS SCHWARZ

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil has said that he would choose “Lebanon and its stability” over the presidential post, describing accusations that he wants to succeed his father-in-law in the country’s top post as a “myth.”

In an interview from Moscow with RT television, Bassil added that PM-designate Saad Hariri is demanded to form a new government.

“We want Hariri to form” the new cabinet, “but if he can’t do so, he must shoulder his responsibility,” Bassil said, suggesting that Hariri should step down if he can’t complete the task of putting together a new government.

“Had the National Pact and constitutional norms been applied by the PM-designate, we would have saved time and we would not have wasted six months waiting for certain events,” the FPM chief went on to say.

Separately, Bassil said the FPM agrees with Hizbullah over “strategic issues in Lebanon and the region in terms of confronting Israel and terrorism.”

“But we disagree with it over domestic issues, including the fight against corruption,” he clarified.

“Hizbullah is not implicated in corruption, but for strategic reasons and the priority of preserving the resistance, it is not as active as we see it should be in this regard,” Bassil explained.

The FPM chief also stressed that there can be no reform in Lebanon as long as “the majority of those clinging to power are with corruption.”

“Since 2005, we have not managed to obtain the necessary majority to implement our reform program,” he lamented.



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