Aoun warns Hariri over unilateral efforts

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri violated the spirit of national unity in his decisions on the next government, opposition leaders say.

Hariri launched his second effort at forming a unity government Wednesday by meeting with members of his March 14 slate and opposition lawmakers with the March 8 movement, reports Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.


Hariri led his March 14 coalition to power in June parliamentary elections, promising to work swiftly to form a unity government. Disputes over the appointment of caretaker Telecommunications Minister Jebran Bassil and political defections undermined his efforts, however, forcing Hariri to step down briefly.

Michel Aoun, Bassil's father-in-law and leader of the opposition Free Patriotic Movement, blamed Hariri for moving forward in a unilateral fashion, which he said harmed efforts at forming a unity government.

"Thus if we do not reach an accord over the government, that implies a unilateral decision by one party to form a cabinet which does not reflect national unity," he said.

He stressed, however, that he was not leading the disputes over the appointment of Bassil, who lost in the June elections.


"Whoever provoked the problem should pay the price," he cautioned.

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