Hizbullah slams Hariri's proposed gov't

September 9, 2009 09:07
2 minute read.
Hizbullah supporters wave Hizbullah flags during a

Hizbullah supporters wave Hizbullah flags during a. (photo credit: AP)


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Hizbullah on Monday night harshly criticized a proposed list for a new national government that would give the group 10 of 30 seats, submitted by Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad Hariri to Lebanese president Michel Suleiman.

Hariri said Monday that the Western-backed parliamentary majority would get 15 seats out of the 30-member Cabinet. The Hizbullah-led parliamentary minority would get 10 seats, while the president would choose the remaining five seats.

Shortly after Hariri's announcement, Christian leader and Hizbullah ally Michel Aoun said the move "shows that Mr. Saad Hariri does not want to form a Cabinet but wants to pass time and play with the Cabinet according to his mood."

"If Hariri wants to create a new tradition (in forming a Cabinet), let him search for people other than us to form a Cabinet with," Aoun, who is currently outside the country, said in remarks carried by the state-run National News Agency.

Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV criticized Hariri's move in its main news bulletin Monday night describing his government as the "fait accompli Cabinet." It added that Hariri opened the way for "major question marks regarding the fate of national unity."

Hariri has been trying to put together a Cabinet since he was appointed by Suleiman on June 27, but its formation has been prevented by disagreements over the allocation of top ministerial seat.

Israel had no official response to the political developments in Lebanon, with one official saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the issue in the past, and that his position then still stands.

In June, a day after Hariri was appointed the task of setting up Lebanon's next government and becoming its next prime minister, Netanyahu - in a clear message to Beirut - told the cabinet that if Hizbullah was included in the Lebanese government, Lebanon would be responsible for Hizbullah's actions.

"If Hizbullah joins the Lebanese government, then the Lebanese government is accepting responsibility for Hizbullah's actions, including its actions against Israel," Netanyahu said.

Government officials at the time said Netanyahu's comments were meant to inform the Lebanese that if a national unity government was created, Beirut
would bear responsibility for Hizbullah's actions. The official said Israel would deem Hizbullah's participation in the new government as "a matter of extreme significance."

Netanyahu repeated his comments in the cabinet last month as well.

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