.@makramrabah it seems Sunni opinion of Hariri’s presidential move is indeed important/divisive
Translated in tonight’s Mideastwire.com Daily Briefing (for a free trial email firstname.lastname@example.org):
On December 10, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Istanbul Wael Issam: “”This is a shocking position for the Sunni street, and it is not in the interest of (Sa’d) al-Hariri or the Future Movement for them to say to their public that their sacrifices went in vain, and that we will bring another Bashar al-Assad as Lebanon’s president.” This is how Lebanese Deputy for the city of Akkar Khaled ad-Daher described the initiative of Future Movement leader Sa’d al-Hariri to nominate Suleiman Franjieh as the president of the Lebanese Republic, while expressing deep disgruntlement among many Lebanese Sunni politicians, such as Justice Minister General Ashraf Rifi, who is one of the most prominent symbols of the city of Tripoli, i.e. the northern stronghold of the Future Movement.
“Deputy Ad-Daher, who is known for his fierce statements against Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, considered that in case Franjieh were to reach the presidency, this would be considered a victory for the Iranian project in Lebanon. He thus wondered in statements to Al-Quds al-Arabi: “How can we support Franjieh, who was described by Qanso, the head of the Ba’th Party in Lebanon, as Al-Assad’s cub? This is the same Franjieh who disrespected martyr Wissam al-Hassan (the head of the Information Branch) on the day of his martyrdom, by saying that Imad Mughniyeh was worth a thousand Wissam al-Hassans?” Franjieh had made those statements in an interview, and on that same day, General Ashraf Rifi, who was the Internal Security Forces Chief at the time, issued a statement in which he attacked Franjieh, saying “Tripoli will not forget those who harmed the dignity of its children…”
“For their part, Al-Hariri’s supporters accuse Franjieh of having contributed to the concealment of evidence proving the involvement of the Syrian security regime in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, as he was the interior minister at the time of the assassination. According to reports, Al-Hariri has frozen his initiative to nominate Franjieh until the rallying of support around it, especially by his Christian allies in March 14, and more specifically by the Lebanese Forces led by Samir Geagea, at a time when newspapers close to the latter have launched a wide-scale campaign against Al-Hariri, and considered he was trying to win the premiership at any price, even if by ending the March 14 alliance in favor of March 8. At this level, Ad-Daher believed that Al-Hariri’s previous partnership experience with Hezbollah in the government was not encouraging.”
“He stated: “In the 2008 Doha Accord, the March 8 team promised not to use the obstructing third. But it did, and in a provocative way. Indeed, Al-Hariri visited American President Barack Obama, and upon his exit from the White House, the March 8 ministers presented their resignations and toppled the government. We must learn from the past and a believer is not stung from the same hole twice.””