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Lebanon: Hezbollah Accused of Attempting to Change the Constitution

Lebanon: Hezbollah Accused of Attempting to Change the Constitution

Thursday, 24 January, 2019 - 08:30
Lebanese President Michel Aoun meets with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai warned of “secret and public attempts” to change the system and the identity and of a “tripartite ruling that undermines the Christian-Islamic coexistence formula.”

During a meeting of the main Christian party leaders and deputies in Bkirki on Jan. 16, Rai warned that Lebanese unity was in jeopardy,

“One of the reasons behind the current political crisis is the failure to implement Taef Agreement and the Constitution,” he explained, stressing that non-compliant practices and norms have been as well introduced.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Writer and Political Analyst Hanna Saleh said that talks about a tripartite ruling were not new, but gained more impetus after Hezbollah and its allies obtained a parliamentary majority.

He noted in this regard that Iran had submitted many proposals through Hezbollah to control the Lebanese decision making.

Saleh recounted that after the July 2006 war with Israel, then-Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and officially discussed with him the tripartite ruling. It was reported that Mottaki proposed the creation of a vice-president seat - like that of the prime minister and the speaker – to be occupied by a Shiite figure. In response, Siniora told his guest that it would be inappropriate to issue such statements from the platform of the premiership, so the Iranian minister left the Serail and presented his idea at a press conference from the Iranian embassy.

Hezbollah’s goals were never secret, Saleh said, noting that during a dialogue meeting in Saint-Cloud more than 10 years ago, the party’s representative, MP Nawwaf Mousawi, told the other participants that Hezbollah would assume the role Syria played before withdrawing from Lebanon. But these indicators did not push the March 14 Forces to discuss real and responsible means to face the coordinated attack by the party and the Iranian regime, said the political analyst.

Lebanese Forces MP Eddy Abi Lamaa said that the Maronite Patriarch’s remarks about a tripartite ruling were a proactive warning to those who might have such ideas in mind.

“We adhere to the current Lebanese formula and equality between Muslims and Christians and respect the Constitution and the law. And this was clearly said in the final statement” of the Maronite summit in Bkerki, he stressed.

Former MP Fares Soueid told Asharq Al-Awsat that the patriarch had real concerns about the tripartite ruling. He said that [Hezbollah] considered it was the right timing to employ its military victory in Syria and change the Constitution in its favor.

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