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Opposition: Miqati was Handed a Five-Point Plan to Be Implemented
 
 
 
 
 
 
25-01-2011
 
Informed opposition sources praised on Monday Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's choice to nominate former Prime Minister Najib Miqati to head a new government, saying that only House Speaker Nabih Berri was informed of this plan.
They told the Central News Agency that Berri agreed to it a few hours before the consultations when the opposition's original choice to nominate former PM Omar Karami was reconsidered.

They explained that by nominating Miqati, at least three of his MPs' votes will be transferred to the opposition, which would not have been possible had Karami been nominated, therefore granting the opposition 63 votes against Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri's 65.

Meanwhile, an informed opposition political source told the news agency that the decision to nominate Miqati was a result of Arab, regional, and international pressure on the opposition and Syria against naming Karami.

"The Syrian leadership informed the opposition of this decision Saturday night through Nasrallah and Berri's envoys who visited Damascus in a quick visit," it added.

The source predicted that Miqati may win 68 votes during the parliamentary consultations and he has started preparing the formation of a new government.

It revealed that it would be a technocratic Cabinet of 14 ministers, with the defense and interior ministries going to the president.

"This does not mean that there will be no preliminary consultations to form a 30-minister national unity cabinet," it added.

Furthermore, it stressed that the opposition had requested Miqati to implement a five-point plan, the first of which demands withdrawing the cooperation protocol between Lebanon and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as it was formed through unconstitutional means.

The other points include withdrawing the Lebanese judges from the STL seeing as they are false witnesses, halting the funding of the tribunal, referring the false witnesses file to the Lebanese judiciary, and bolstering Lebanese-Syrian ties, said the source.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday refused to join a government headed by Hizbullah or its allies as binding parliamentary consultations on nominating a new premier kicked off.

"Al-Mustaqbal Movement announces its rejection to take part in a government headed by a candidate named by the Opposition," said a statement issued by Hariri's office.
The statement, however, said there is no "consensual candidate," in an indirect reference to lawmaker Najib Miqati who offered himself as a "consensual" candidate for the premiership.

"There is a candidate named Saad Hariri, and another candidate for the March 8 forces, and the choice in this regard is clear and unambiguous," Hariri said.

The statement came shortly before Hariri headed to Baabda Palace for a meeting with President Michel Suleiman as part of the consultations to pick a new premier.

It also came as former premier Najib Miqati was tipped as the favorite candidate to be appointed prime minister after he secured the backing of Hizbullah, which brought down Hariri's government earlier this month.

Officials said Miqati, a telecoms tycoon, was Hizbullah's top choice given his position as a centrist politician who has good relations with Lebanon's feuding parties.

Mikati, 55, submitted his candidacy late Sunday saying he was coming forward in the hope of being a consensual candidate.

Suleiman will choose Lebanon's next prime minister at the end of two days of consultations with the country's128 MPs, who will name their pick for premiership.
 
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