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French Version


Opposition united over nomination (Daily Star)

Lahoud refuses to accept list of demands

The opposition maintained its united refusal to nominate a candidate for the post of prime minister on Wednesday and presented its demands to President Emile Lahoud.

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However, Lahoud refused to accept the opposition's list presented by Beirut MP Ghinwa Jalloul and Jbeil MP Fares Soueid, stating the parliamentary consultations were constitutionally set for nominating a new premier, and nothing else.

Deputy Premier Issam Fares saluted the president for respecting the Constitution, saying that it was not in Lahoud's jurisdiction to discuss the opposition's demands. He added that such responsibilities belong to the prime minister.

In agreement with Fares, legal expert Edmond Naim said that Lahoud's refusal was constitutional as the parliamentary consultations were only to name a candidate for the post of premier.

However, Chibli Mallat, another legal expert, said that the opposition had a right to present their list of demands to Lahoud.

"The Constitution states parliamentary consultations should take place before naming the premier, however, it does not specify a certain mechanism to these consultations and as such the MPs have the right to discuss any imminent issue they want with the president."

Lahoud's refusal left many wondering what would the opposition's next step would be.

A source in the opposition told The Daily Star: "We don't have problems with any government that might be formed, as long as it is willing to carry out our demands."

But the source reasserted the opposition's refusal to take part in any anticipated government.

The source said: "Our demands are clear: The resignation of heads of security apparatus, an international investigation into the assassination of Hariri, the implementation of the Taif Accord and free and fair parliamentary elections."

He added: "The opposition stands united on these demands. But if the government fulfils our demands, then we will contemplate holding a discussion."

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Beirut 10-03-2005
Majdoline Atoum
The Daily Star



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