Lebanon: Geagea Against Hariri’s Designation

Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, listens during an interview with Reuters, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, listens during an interview with Reuters, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
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Lebanon: Geagea Against Hariri’s Designation

Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, listens during an interview with Reuters, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, listens during an interview with Reuters, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

The leader of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, said his parliamentary bloc would not designate former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to head the new government, asserting his unwillingness to cooperate with whom he described as the “ruling trio”, represented by Hezbollah, Amal Movement, and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).

The binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a new prime minister are scheduled to be held on Thursday at the Baabda Palace.

The Future Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), and the Amal party are pushing for the designation of Hariri, along with other parliamentary blocs such as the Marada, the Independent Center, and other independent Christian representatives.

This is enough to give Hariri the required number of votes that would secure his assumption to the premiership for the fourth time since the assassination of his father, late former Premier Rafik Hariri, in February 2005.

Geagea said his bloc’s decision was based on “our decision not to enter into any joint initiative with the ruling trio.”

“Any government that will be established today must focus on reforms, reforms, and nothing but reforms; thus, which reforms will be carried out in the presence of those we named above in the government?” He asked.

President Michel Aoun had postponed the consultations, which were supposed to be held last week, citing requests raised by Christian parties.

In addition to the LF, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by former Minister Gebran Bassil, expressed its rejection to Hariri’s designation.

Geagea said that the postponement of the consultations came as the Lebanese president wanted “Saad Hariri to negotiate with Bassil” before the designation, in order to meet the latter’s requests in the government lineup.

He continued: “When the Shiite duo [Hezbollah and Amal] declare publicly that their condition for joining the government is to obtain the Ministry of Finance and then name Shiite ministers and review the ministerial statement, what is left of the government in this case?”

The LF leader reiterated his insistence on forming a government of specialists, who do not belong to any political party.

“If there is a possibility of a truly independent government, its effectiveness will be much higher than a government of politicians,” he remarked.

He renewed the call for “holding early parliamentary elections because they will enable us to remove the ruling group and bring a new generation of politicians to power.”



UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
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UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)

The head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Monday called to push back against efforts by Israel to have the organization disbanded.

"Israel has long been critical of the agency's mandate. But it now seeks to end UNRWA's operations, dismissing the agency's status as a United Nations entity supported by an overwhelming majority of Member States," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said at a meeting of the agency's advisory commission.

"If we do not push back, other UN entities and international organizations will be next, further undermining our multilateral system."