Aoun to Jumblat: Remain Silent, I Have the Right to Put You on Trial
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun slammed on Tuesday Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat’s recent criticism against him, telling him to exercise some humility and accusing him of being disrespectful.
He said after the Change and Reform bloc’s weekly meeting: “You should remain silent. I have the right to put you on trial and strip you of your immunity.”
“I only speak the truth and he only seeks to insult me,” he declared.
A dispute has erupted between the two MPs in light of Jumblat’s accusation that Aoun is leading a movement that is “crippling everything in Lebanon.”
The FPM leader responded to the accusation on Saturday by labeling the Druze chief as a liar.
Jumblat retaliated on Sunday by saying: “What can I say to the one who cursed us yesterday, I will not say anything … but I’m very dismayed by those who allowed him to dig up the graves of the past, I’m very dismayed by those who do not respect my centrist position.”
Addressing Jumblat, Aoun remarked: “You and your ministers are attacking me because of my demand for proportional representation in the electoral law.”
“You are better off remaining silent. It’s rude for you to accuse me of theft and lies. Society does not accept such base claims,” he continued.
“We have suffered a lot because of you,” stressed the FPM leader.
The March 8 camp is advocating the adoption of proportional representation for the parliamentary electoral law, while the March 14-led opposition has voiced its objection to it.
Jumblat has also slammed the call, saying that it is aimed at limiting his political weight.
Concerning the dispute over the government’s extra-budgetary spending, Aoun renewed his accusation against President Michel Suleiman, holding him responsible for the failure to approve the $5.9 billion spending bill.
“I was informed by some institutions that they are facing financial difficulties because of the president has failed to sign the bill,” he revealed.
Cabinet members are at loggerheads over a $5.9 billion spending bill that would legalize the allocation of funds made by Premier Najib Miqati’s cabinet.
While the FPM, Amal and Hizbullah have pressured Suleiman to sign the bill into law over parliament’s failure to adopt it, ministers loyal to Jumblat have defended the head of state in his decision not to.
Suleiman claims that the bill includes violations that should be amended by taking into consideration the remarks made by the parliamentary finance and budget committee.
The failure to approve the bill has threatened to withhold the salaries of Lebanese civil servants although Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi gave assurances that the employees would receive their wages.