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Hariri and Rifi in Electoral War of Words · Mar 25, 13:37

Prime Minister Saad Hariri and ex-minister Ashraf Rifi traded tirades Sunday in connection with the heated electoral battle in the northern city of Tripoli.

“Talking about disloyalty, we cannot forget the world champion who is writing reports against us and accusing us of treason and in the end he says that he is fighting Hizbullah,” Hariri said at a Tripoli rally to announce al-Mustaqbal Movement’s candidates for the Tripoli-Minieh-Dinniyeh district.

“We, al-Mustaqbal Movement, have lists in almost all of Lebanon against Hizbullah, from Shebaa to Sidon, from North Bekaa to West Bekaa, and from Zahle to Beirut and the North. We have candidates who are in direct confrontation with candidates from Hizbullah and lists supported by Hizbullah,” Hariri said.

“If you are against Hizbullah, why are all your lists confronting the lists of the al-Mustaqbal Movement?” Hariri added, addressing Rifi without naming him.

“If I am confronting Hizbullah, Hizbullah is attacking me, and you have nothing else to do except attacking me, what does this mean?” the premier went on to say.

Rifi was quick to hit back via Twitter.

“I call on PM Hariri to honor his stances by resigning from Hizbullah’s government, removing the Syrian regime’s cronies from his lists and turning his electoral rhetoric in Tripoli and Akkar into a political rhetoric against Hizbullah’s project in Beirut,” Rifi said.

“Loyalty to individuals is slavery and clientelism, seeing as they are humans who err and succeed,” Rifi added.

“We are the loyal ones who are free in our loyalty to our approach, beliefs and the cause of the martyrs, whereas those who have surrendered to the mini-state (of Hizbullah) do not have the right to call on others to also surrender,” the former minister emhpasized.

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