Nasrallah vows campaign to force gov't change

Says Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's Cabinet had "zero credibility" after six ministers resigned.

nasrallah good 298.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
nasrallah good 298.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hizbullah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, vowed to press ahead with his group's campaign to replace the Lebanese government, saying Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's Cabinet had zero credibility after six ministers resigned, according to published reports Tuesday. Nasrallah, who has threatened to stage street demonstrations if Hizbullah's demand for a national unity government was ignored, also assured the Lebanese that there would be no new civil war as a result of mounting political tensions among the country's rival factions. Nasrallah's remarks came a day after the government, defying the objections of the president and the resignations of six ministers, approved a UN plan for an international tribunal to try the suspected killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The vote dealt a blow to Hizbullah and its Shiite ally, the Amal Movement. The two parties withdrew their five representatives from the government Saturday after the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority refused to meet their demand for a "national unity" Cabinet that would effectively give Hizbullah and its allies veto power over key decisions. A sixth minister, who is Christian and allied with the president, resigned Monday, citing similar objections. Nasrallah said that after the resignations of its two ministers, Hizbullah has nothing to do with the government, promising to replace it with "a clean-handed government." The Hizbullah leader addressed about 6,000 people whose houses were destroyed in Beirut's southern suburbs by Israeli air strikes last summer. "This government will go, and we have nothing to do with it after the resignations. A new government will come," he was quoted as saying in the As-Safir newspaper, adding that the "credibility of the current government is zero." Nasrallah has lashed out at Saniora's government, which is dominated by anti-Syrians, saying it was unable to rebuild the country from the devastation caused by the Israeli attacks in Beirut's southern suburbs and in eastern and southern Lebanon. "A clean-handed government will come and rebuild. We will not leave the people. As we have said on the first day of victory, we are committed to rebuild your houses and institutions with clean money. Hopefully, the reconstruction of the Dahiyeh (southern suburbs) will begin in three months," As-Safir quoted Nasrallah as saying.