Hariri rejects working under Hezbollah-named PM

Hariri said on Monday he will not take part in a government lead by Hezbollah and its allies.

Hariri rejects working under Hezbollah-named PM

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Monday he will not take part in a government lead by Hezbollah and its allies.

A two-day consultation to choose a new prime minister began on Monday. Hezbollah has said it will seek a "partnership government" if it wins parliamentary backing for its candidate.

"(Hariri's) Future Movement ... rejects taking part in any government headed by a March 8 candidate," a statement from Hariri's office said.

The "March 8" bloc includes the Shi'ite movements Hezbollah and Amal, along with Christian leader Michel Aoun.

Political sources said Hezbollah and its allies have agreed to support Sunni politician Najib Mikati for the premiership, a move seen as an attempt to have a compromise figure to run the government after they refused to endorse Hariri for the job.

Mikati said on Sunday he was running for the job. Hariri said he remained in the contest.

Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said he will back Hezbollah, giving the Shi'ite group and its allies, who have 57 seats in parliament, a likely majority to endorse a Sunni politician of their choice.

"There is no compromise candidate in the consultations today. There is a candidate called Saad al-Hariri and another one for March 8 and the choice is clear," Hariri said in the statement.

Hariri's "March 14" coalition won a majority in the 128-seat assembly in a 2009 election, but Jumblatt's bloc has since defected.

Hezbollah and its allies brought down Hariri's unity government earlier this month in a dispute over still confidential indictments by a U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of statesman Rafik al-Hariri, Saad's father.

The indictments are widely expected to accuse members of Hezbollah, which denies any links to the killing and says the tribunal is serving U.S. and Israeli interests.

In Lebanon's power-sharing political system, the prime minister should be a Sunni, the president a Christian Maronite and the speaker a Shi'ite.


Agencies

Last Mod: 24 Ocak 2011, 17:04
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