BEIRUT — Hezbollah's parliamentary group said Thursday that the current governmental crisis could not be resolved without "respect for the norms of the constitution," while Najib Mikati's cabinet has been paralyzed for more than a month and a half by internal political tensions related in particular to the fate of the investigation into the Aug. 4, 2020 Beirut port explosion.
Here's what we know:
• The Mikati government has not met since Oct. 12 due to disagreement between its ministers over taking a stance on Judge Tarek Bitar's leadership of the Beirut port blast probe. The cabinet's Shiite ministers are calling for the removal of Bitar, who they say has "politicized" the investigation since he launched proceedings against several political and security officials, including MPs and former ministers of the Amal Movement, a Hezbollah ally. The two Shiite parties demand that, in accordance with the constitution, ministers and former ministers be tried by the Constitutional Council, while some analysts and other political groups say that bringing the case before this body, which has never been convened, would amount to drowning it.
• At the end of their weekly meeting, Hezbollah MPs called for "all possible efforts to remove obstacles to the resumption of meetings of the government, which has a lot of work to do at several levels."
• According to the party, "to get out of the current governmental crisis, we must start by returning to the constitution and respecting its norms." The parliamentary group of the pro-Iranian party has in this context returned once again to their objections to Bitar. The party's parliamentary group states that "until the constitution is amended, the investigating judge has no prerogative to judge ministers and prime ministers."
• Hezbollah also considered that the approach to this diplomatic crisis "fanned with Saudi Arabia cannot be restored with compliments or by underestimating the sovereignty and dignity" of Lebanon. The party stressed, however, "the importance and necessity of restoring Lebanon's relations with other countries, especially the brotherly Arab countries."
• The diplomatic crisis with several Gulf countries was provoked by statements made by Information Minister George Kurdahi, before he took office, about Saudi intervention in the war in Yemen. Riyadh, however, said the crisis was also due to the growing influence of Hezbollah on the Lebanese political scene.