Return of Seniora upsets Hezbollah and allies
The reappointment of incumbent premier Fouad Seniora to head a new government in Lebanon has angered the Hezbollah-led opposition who voiced their dismay Thursday, reported dpa.
The radical Shiite movement made clear it was not satisfied with Seniora's appointment, saying "he did not reflect the spirit of national unity called for in last week's Arab-brokered accord reached in Doha."
"His nomination is a recipe for conflict rather than reconciliation," Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun warned. "It seems the ruling bloc, rather than battling for a new Lebanon, is seeking to unleash a new conflict."
He added, however, that his camp would not stand in the way of forming a new government and said that his bloc would be represented in the new cabinet.
An opposition member who is close to Syria, Wiaam Wahab, warned that "any new adventure by the ruling majority will not pass from now on."
Wahab, who can be described as a hardliner, referred to the May 7 clashes and hinted "that something like this could easily takes place again."
Clashes erupted between the opposition and the majority - resulting in the deaths of 82 people - after Seniora's government decided to probe a private Hezbollah communication network.
Seniora, 64, will begin consultations Friday with the various parliamentary blocs on forming a cabinet in line with the Doha accord that set the rules for the partnership between the majority, the opposition and President Michel Suleiman.
Following his appointment on Wednesday, Seniora vowed to bridge the gaps separating the rival factions.
"I extend my hand for cooperation and solidarity so that our country can achieve the breakthroughs it deserves," Seniora said.
Seniora, a Sunni Muslim and close ally of slain former premier Rafik Hariri, has been prime minister since 2005 and headed a caretaker government since Suleiman's election by parliament on Sunday.
Much of Seniora's previous term was dominated by the stand-off with the opposition that withdrew its ministers from his government late in 2006 in a bid to force Seniora to resign.
The parliamentary majority decided to keep Seniora in his post to allow Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, to prepare for legislative elections next year.