Rafik Hariri’s Commemoration Highlights Fall of Settlement with Aoun
Lebanon’s politicians are awaiting Friday’s speech of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the assassination of his father, Rafik Hariri, as al-Mustaqbal Movement snubbed President Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, sources said that the FPM, which has been founded by Aoun, “was added to the list of undesirable parties in this event, alike [Hezbollah], after the [presidency] turned against the political settlement.”
The settlement had led to Aoun's election as president in 2016 and Saad Hariri’s appointment as premier.
Friday's event is expected to mark a reunion for the parties that once formed the March 14 coalition, especially after the eruption of the uprising on Oct. 17 and the subsequent developments, including Hariri’s resignation.
While the Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) have not disclosed the level of their participation in this year’s ceremony, they have both confirmed they would attend the event at the Center House in Beirut.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, LF media and communication official Charles Jabbour said: “For security reasons, we cannot confirm whether (Samir) Geagea, the party’s leader, will be present or not. But certainly we will participate through a high-ranking delegation of deputies and ministers.”
The PSP, for its part, is yet to decide on the delegation’s size and level.
Jabbour noted that the occasion should be an opportunity to restore the relationship between the LF and Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal Movement.
Al-Mustaqbal MP Mustafa Alloush said Hariri’s speech could pave the way for breaking the ice among several parties that were members of the March 14 alliance.
Any step in this direction should be based on solid and common grounds, according to Alloush.
Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a massive car bomb explosion in Beirut in 2005.