Lebanese opposition agrees not to nominate Saad Hariri as PM: Hezbollah

Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is seen on broadcat screens at Hezbollah owned al-Manar TV in Beirut during his speech on January 16, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIRUT, Jan. 17 (KATAKAMI.COM / Xinhua) — Leader of the Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday that the opposition had agreed not to nominate Saad Hariri for the post of prime minister in mandatory consultations scheduled on Monday, after the government collapsed as 11 ministers resigned last week.

“The opposition decided unanimously not to name Hariri tomorrow, ” the chief of Lebanon’s Shiite armed group said in a televised speech, while refusing to name their candidate for the post.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called for binding consultations with lawmakers on Monday to form a new government.

Hariri’s government collapsed on Wednesday after Hezbollah and their allies in the March 8 coalition resigned in a dispute over indictment expected to be issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which has been probing his father’s assassination.

The indictment, which the UN-backed court’s tribunal is expected to submit to Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen on Monday, is widely believed to implicate “rogue” members of Hezbollah.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah would reveal in the coming days its plan to defend itself against the indictment.

“We will not allow our reputation and our dignity to be tarnished,” he said.

“We will not permit anyone to conspire against us or to unjustly accuse us of killing (Rafic Hariri),” Nasrallah said in the speech.

The Hezbollah chief reiterated that the Netherlands-based STL was a U.S.-Israeli tool to target Lebanon’s resistance against Israel.

“We will act to defend our dignity, our existence and our reputation,” he said.  (*)


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