Parliament’s Battle: No Dramatic Developments
Majority Cool Nerves VS "March 14" Assaults
Debate over the policy statement is likely to come out with no dramatic developments. Lebanon will have a new government, and "March 14" coalition is to face the reality from the beginning of talkfest: they lost the democratic game and they are now the new opposition.
Although the Parliament is expected to turn into a political battleground Tuesday over the US-backed tribunal, the national army has assured "that it will face any one's attempt to undermine the stability and civil peace."
As expected, "March 14" is to step up their campaign against PM Najib Mikati, the government and Hizbullah in attempt to pile pressure.
However, on the other side of the political divide, the new majority will seek to contain "March 14" coalition's assaults by urging lawmakers to remain calm and restrict their statements to constructive criticism leaving House Speaker Nabih Berri to control the game by his famous hammer.
Berri responded indirectly to the "March 14" coalition, calling once again on "everyone to end the stage of political adolescence and not to pressure the cabinet before it starts taking action."
For his part, Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General His Eminence Sheikh Naim Qassem highlighted the party's stance on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which he referred to as "an aggressive US-Israeli process to undermine justice and truth."
"Change and reform Bloc Leader" General Michel Aoun said that "the statements of participants in the Le Bristol meeting regarding a foreign campaign to boycott Lebanon is tantamount to a criminal act and to threatening the Lebanese people."
Similarly "National Struggle Front" leader Walid Jumblatt called for rational speech "that is different from the tense rhetoric of the opposition, which will stoke tensions anew as it is not devoid of sectarian implications."
Jumblatt asserted that he is not afraid "of any measures," saying "We advise them not to be too forward with their statements and actions."
Minority Last Choice
The open show down of "March 14" has two aims. "The first is to target Mikati's government from the door of the tribunal exclusively and the second is time's depletion through a flood of speeches making the three-day period set for the hearing to discuss the ministerial statement insufficient. By this, they would impose to extend the duration of the session and thus delay the confidence vote," "as-Safir" Lebanese news paper revealed.
In this context, "al-Akhbar" newspaper quoted high-level sources in the minority forces as saying "it would only raise the ceiling high in the Parliament during the sessions of confidence without transferring the political conflict into the street, at least in the next few days."
Furthermore, Mikati's sources said to the newspaper itself that the latter "would not repeat the experience of former PM Omar Karami in 2005 during the sessions of confidence, but will follow the tactics of cold nerves, absorption, and attacking when necessary."
Hizbullah's New Evidences
Mean while, as some questioned the credibility of the document concerned with the tribunal's transfer of computers to the Zionist entity presented by Secretary General of Hizbullah His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the undoubted crucial answer came quickly to remove all doubts. Hizbullah presented three new documents stamped from the "Israeli" enemy.
Bellemare Defends, Welcomes
In a parallel context, STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare responded to Sayyed Nasrallah's evidences without rejecting them.
"The international investigation is relying on credible evidence," Bellemare said in a statement issued by his office adding that the investigation "is carried out according to the highest standards of international justice."
Bellemare welcomed "Nasrallah's offer to provide the file that he stated he has on some elements of the investigation" and requested "the video material that was shown on television as well as any other information and documents that would assist the tribunal."
"The staff has been recruited on the basis of their professionalism, impartiality and expertise, and I have full confidence in their strong commitment to finding the truth," Bellemare claimed.