A broad meeting was held Tuesday at MP Talal Arslan’s residence in Khalde to discuss the affairs of the Druze community and the controversy over the Druze share in the new government.
In addition to Arslan, the meeting was attended by Arab Tawhid Party chief Wiam Wahhab, Syrian Social National Party leader Wael al-Hasaniyeh, Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Nasreddine al-Gharib, caretaker Social Affairs and Tourim Minister Ramzi al-Msharrafiyeh, ex-ministers Marwan Kheireddine and Saleh al-Gharib, and a number of spiritual leaders and members of political parties.
In a statement issued after the meeting and recited by ex-minister Gharib, the conferees blasted what they called “a blatant attack on the right of founding sect of the Lebanese entity though unfairness in its representation in the government.”
“Some are insisting on this by giving the excuse that it will be a government of specialists, while in fact it will have nothing to do with the principle of specialty or the National Pact,” the statement said.
“We see it as a spiteful government par excellence that is aimed at curtailing the representation of Druze through eliminating the Druze political diversity whose history predates Lebanon by hundreds of years,” the statement added.
“This is an attack that is rejected in form and content and our stance on it will not change,” the conferees emphasized.
In this regard, the conferees said they “highly appreciate the stance of President Michel Aoun and his backing for this right,” calling on him to “carry on with it and cling to the implementation of the constitution” and not to allow “the marginalization of the Druze community and its right to fair representation.”
The conferees also urged Speaker Nabih Berri, Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and “all the patriotic figures of this country” not to “tolerate any tampering with the delicate political balances in Mount Lebanon.”
The current controversy is revolving around whether Druze should get one seat in an 18-seat cabinet or two seats in a 20-seat cabinet.