Lebanese MP warns Beirut suburb blast could be just the beginning
BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt warned that the explosion that rocked one of Beirut’s southern suburbs could be repeated in other areas across the country while also blaming Hezbollah for obstructing the formation of a new Cabinet, according to remarks published Thursday.
“The situation in the country is not reassuring, and the car bomb in Bir al-Abed should be a message to everyone. What happened in the southern suburb can happen anywhere else,” Jumblatt told As-Safir newspaper.
Over 50 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Beirut suburbs Tuesday.
The PSP leader said that country’s rift between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad requires forming a Cabinet as soon as possible to prevent tensions from boiling over.
“There is a serious disagreement regarding the Syrian crisis between those who support and fight alongside the regime, like Hezbollah, and those who support the Syrian people and send [fighters] or aid from Lebanon or from elsewhere to some factions of the opposition,” he said.
“Should not we hurry up and organize the political conflict between us in a government or do we keep trading fiery statements from Sidon and Tripoli?”
Jumblatt also reiterated that the only kind of Cabinet he would accept is a national unity one and assured he is ready to help in the task of forming the body.
“I will not accept anything other than a national unity Cabinet, a Cabinet that gets Parliament’s confidence,” he said.
Jumblatt blamed Hezbollah for obstructing the government's formation and said that he trusts Prime Minister–designate Tammam Salam to oversee a Cabinent where no single group has veto power.
“What is obstructing the Cabinet formation is that Hezbollah wants to be represented politically, and [it is calling] for having veto power inside the Cabinet,” said Jumblatt.
Lebanon’s Cabinet formation has been stalled for more than three months over contradicting demands by parties in the March 8 and March 14 camps who want control over the form and role of the new government.
Hezbollah on March 8 called for a political Cabinet in which it is granted veto power, a demand strongly rejected by both Salam and the March 14 group.