Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14

Miqati Resignation Threat Looming


LBC is reporting (on Twitter) that Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Miqati is headed to the Grand Serail to announce his resignation over the current cabinet squabble concerning the extension of Ashraf Rifi’s tenure as director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF).

I spoke to NOW Lebanon’s Alex Rowell yesterday about this issue, suggesting that the Free Patriotic Movement’s threat to not extend Rifi’s mandate should be taken seriously, given the long history of hostility between the FPM and the ISF.  Of course, the fight over Rifi could just be a prelude to the much larger appointment issue that is looming: the question of who will be Lebanon’s next president. This may, in fact, be the first bargaining chip in that protracted future transaction (which will get going soon after the parliamentary elections, if they ever take place).

I’m getting reports from folks as I write this that Rifi is in fact out and Miqati is in fact going to resign, so I’m going to sign off now and watch the events develop. More later, but in the meantime, I think that this post from the archives gets at the fundamental reason behind Miqati’s threatened resignation.

Live-blog/translation of Miqati’s speech:

8:35PM: I’ve committed myself to the country that I love.

8:36: It is necessary to raise the salaries of the civil society workers. It is necessary to hold elections on time. We need an electoral law that renews Lebanon’s message to the world (as a place of coexistence).

8:38: The President has demanded dialogue on all of these issues. We need a government that can save the country from the problems it faces.

8:39: The problems are great. I am satisfied with my efforts.

8:40: I have kept all channels of communication open. The nation comes first.

8:40: I threatened to resign twice before: Once over the funding of the Special Tribunal, and once when Wissam al-Hassan was murdered. Today the conditions are worse, economically, politically, etc.

8:41: Today, I announce my resignation, hoping this represents a way out of the problems that the country faces. I want to thank all of the political forces that cooperated with me over the past period.

8:42: Despite the worries and tension that hang over us, we are capable of overcoming them. I remain by your side. May God secure this nation.

End of speech. [I’m sure I botched most of it, but I’m translating while trying to finish a conference paper to be delivered in an hour…]


14 thoughts on “Miqati Resignation Threat Looming

  1. Sad not to extend Rifi terme, amid turnoil in Lebanon.
    Plus, Rifi is really a good commander with achievements like developing Fouhoud, Intelligence Branch. We should never forget that Intelligence Branch hit hard israeli mossad in lebanon, and they permit to avoid the samaha plot.

    Posted by karoum | March 22, 2013, 12:48 pm
  2. Let’s do a quick poll: who thinks he’s bluffing?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 22, 2013, 12:53 pm
  3. yeah the intelligence branch caught many EXPIRED mossad agents handed to them by the israelis to give them credibility. Funny how the March 14 folks talk about democracy and yet cannot tolerate a change at the head of ISF
    which has become the crack force of the Hariri family.

    Posted by erraticmind | March 22, 2013, 12:59 pm
  4. he is not bluffing. He will be free of his cabinet and bend the law to do as he wishes as a “resigned” prime minister. basically follow the wahabi agenda

    Posted by erraticmind | March 22, 2013, 1:05 pm
  5. No bluff! It’s his Sunni side running for cover…He will give a “conditional” resignation….and MS will decline to accept it.

    Posted by danny | March 22, 2013, 2:18 pm
  6. W. Jumblat, Z. Baroud, M. Charbel and W. Wahhab on Kalam El Nass special after the news.

    Posted by Whatever | March 22, 2013, 2:25 pm
  7. I’m sure the determination to keep Rifi at the helm is to preserve or rather, avoid the total collapse of the last bastion- of anti-M8/Syria domination and to preserve the piles of meticulous intelligence work about the ‘Hariri assassination’, ‘ Samaha’s capture’ etc. It is extremely important for M14 to keep Rifi. M8 desperately want him out for obvious reasons, so it is more strategic than empty rhetoric of democratic practices as some would claim.
    M14 keep acting like they’ve been robbed and their hanging on to this golden goose.

    Posted by Maverick | March 22, 2013, 5:41 pm
  8. Maverick

    That may be true, but if it is, it’s M14’s own fault for sitting out this government. Had they been part of it, they could have made a deal over his extension.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 22, 2013, 6:24 pm
  9. Finally, Miqati has resigned, but it’s a very good idea for him. M14 is cornered. I am not a supporter of Miqati but he is a master in politics

    Posted by Karoum | March 23, 2013, 6:03 am
  10. Everyone wins as usual in Lebanon. Miqati saves face with the Sunnis to get ready for elections. Also, he could read the writing on the wall that his sponsors in Syria are in a heap of trouble and are hell bent in creating strife in his hometown Tripoli.

    Riffi stays on as well as Qahwaji; unless they resign. HA wins as they get the state of affairs they wanted…that is no state at all.

    M14 bids its time as they have done uselessly since 2005; hoping for a divine intervention.

    Posted by danny | March 23, 2013, 7:53 am
  11. I hope she is Sunni so she can be prime minister:

    Posted by AIG | March 23, 2013, 5:57 pm
  12. so, we have
    And of course Miqati because he’s a smart guy, and it’s resignation is not for nothing

    Posted by karoum | March 24, 2013, 9:38 am
  13. Very funny AIG……

    Posted by Maverick | March 24, 2013, 7:41 pm


  1. Pingback: Prime Minister Resigns, as Lebanon Remains a “Sinking Ship” · Global Voices - March 31, 2013

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