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Geagea: Mikati’s cabinet will toe the March 8 line

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Wednesday that members of a cabinet headed by Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati will be required to adhere to the principles of the March 8 coalition.

“Speaker Nabih Berri has always been subtle, but the members of a new cabinet are being asked to fully abide by March 8’s convictions in order to participate [in the cabinet],” Geagea said, after Berri called for involving all parties in the new cabinet.

In an interview with the LF’s official website, Geagea said that Berri’s statement does not match Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun’s Tuesday remarks.

“It has been clearly shown by Aoun that the [new] cabinet will be loyal to Syria, Hezbollah and March 8 principles.”

He said that Aoun’s recent statements contradict his past ones, “in which he used to stress that all parties should take part in the cabinet.”

He also rejected Aoun’s statement that the results of the 2009 parliamentary elections – in which March 14 won the majority of seats – were falsified.

“The 2009 elections were clean…and if Aoun assumes that he now has the majority, we are ready to hold early elections [to prove him wrong].”

“Our position as March 14 is to either participate in [the new cabinet] all of us, or to not participate at all,” Geagea also said, reiterating March 14’s commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and the limitation of non-state weapons.

Aoun on Tuesday questioned whether March 14 should be given a blocking third of seats in Mikati’s new cabinet, saying the country should not return to political paralysis.

Mikati, who was appointed to the premiership last week with the backing of March 8, has called on all Lebanese parties to join his upcoming cabinet.

However, March 14 parties have said that they will not take part in a cabinet headed by Mikati and have also asked that he first clarify his stance on non-state weapons and the STL, which is investigating former PM Rafik Hariri’s 2005 murder.

-NOW Lebanon

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