Lebanon Opposition: Hariri Will Not Be Allowed to Return as PM

Speaking to Al-Akhbar, March 8 Alliance officials voice their objection to premier's return, presenting a list of pro-Syrian officials they would like see take power.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri will not be allowed to return to his office following the collapse of his unity coalition with Hezbollah, opposition officials told the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Friday.

hariri - AP - November 24 2010

Lebanon is facing its most severe political crisis in years after Hezbollah ministers and their cabinet allies resigned from Hariri's government over disagreements about a United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of Hariri's father.

Officials with the March 8 Alliance oppositional group- of which Hezbollah is a member – told Al-Akhbar on Friday that, in spite of recent attempts to regain stability in the once civil-war-torn country, Hariri would not be allowed to return as prime minister.

Speaking of potential candidates that the alliance would like to see running for the position, however, the officials named several pro-Syrian politicians including former premiers Najib Mikati and Omar Karami as well as former defense minister Abdul Rahim Mourad, and others.

However, despite the reported rejection of Hariri's return to office, Lebanon's PM is expected to make a at least a temporary return as caretaker premier, something which had been asked of home by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman in the hopes of retaining at least a minimum of stability in the country.

Hezbollah's dramatic withdrawal from Hariri's cabinet earlier this week prompted many to fear a recurrence of factional violence so common in the war-torn country.

An indication that some of those fears may have been founded came late Thursday as unknown individuals hurled grenades at the headquarters of Hezbollah ally Free Patriotic Movement's headquarters north of Beirut. No injuries were reported.

Speaking of the need to regain control of the potentially volatile Lebanese political scene, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said earlier Thursday that he was sure there would be no civil conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.

According to a Channel 10 reported citing the Al-Jazeera news network, Nasrallah, who had been reportedly holding meetings with other Hezbollah officials in recent days to discuss the political situation in Lebanon, blamed Hariri for the current political crisis, urging the Lebanese prime minister to remain on his overseas trip and not return to Lebanon.

Earlier this week, Arab League chief Amr Moussa expressed concern over Lebanon's possible descent into chaos, saying the situation was "bad. It is tense. It is threatening."

"All of us have to work together in order to reach some kind of compromise," he told reporters in Doha, Qatar.