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Hariri: Prevalence of Anti-Corruption Slogans Aimed at Covering up Attempts to Usurp State's Power
 
 
 
 
 
 
18-03-2011
 
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday called on the Hizbullah-led camp to start implementing "the provisions of the Taef Accord, especially the clause stipulating that only the Lebanese State can possess weapons."

After a lunch banquet he threw at the Quality Inn Hotel in honor of the journalists of Tripoli and the North, Hariri noted that the rival camp "must bear the responsibility" should it decide to halt Lebanon's financing of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Asked whether he expected incidents similar to those that erupted on May 7, 2008, Hariri said: "I doubt that similar incidents would take place. Yesterday we saw a demonstration for Hizbullah in front of ESCWA (HQ) calling for avoiding discord in Bahrain."

"So are we going to let discord break out in our country? On the contrary, we have to avoid discord. How do we call for fending discord outside while we let it break out in our country?" Hariri wondered.

"Is there any clause in the accord which says that Hizbullah has the right to bear arms while the other Lebanese parties don't? All I am asking for is the clear implementation of the Taef Accord," he added.

Asked about his relation with ex-PM Omar Karami, Hariri said it is characterized with mutual respect but noted that he did not agree with the former premier on the recent stances he has voiced concerning the annulment of the STL and his political support for Hizbullah's arms.

Earlier Thursday, Hariri met with a number of Tripoli officials and others from northern Lebanon as part of his three-day visit to Tripoli.

During his meeting with the visiting delegations, Hariri addressed the issue of combating corruption in Lebanon, accusing sides "claiming to be combating corruption" of being responsible for it.
"All the Lebanese know their history and corrupt practices in taking over public funds and protecting corrupt state institution employees."

"The prevalence of anti-corruption slogans is aimed at covering up attempts to usurp the state's decision-making power and concealing the role of the arms in intimidating the Lebanese and influencing public freedoms," he stressed.

"Such practices are the height of corruption because they force the state to become a victim of foreign interests," Hariri went on to say.

He repeated accusations against the March 8 forces that they obstructed the rise of the State "because they want it to remain at the mercy of the weapons and personal grudges, which is a sign of psychological, ethical, and political corruption."
 
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