Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has stated his intention to boycott the next parliamentary elections and to withdraw from the domestic political scene for the time being.
Reading from a prepared message, a tearful Hariri urged members of his Future Movement political party to follow suit and withdraw from politics.
Recalling his slain father, Rafik Hariri, the three-time premier stated that his goals after joining politics were to prevent another civil war in Lebanon and to provide a better life for Lebanese.
“I was successful in the first, but not so much in the second,” Hariri remarked from his downtown Beirut home.
“I was forced to make settlements from Doha, to visit Damascus, to elect Michel Aoun; all of these settlements came at my expense,” Hariri said.
Hariri, who formerly had strong links with the West and the Gulf, has seen his reputation damaged in recent years as a result of several concessions to Hezbollah and its supporters.
But he defended his actions, claiming that he was the only one who admitted his wrongdoings..
“I was the only one who responded to the October Revolution, and I submitted my government’s resignation,” he stated, alluding to the widespread anti-government demonstrations that erupted in October 2019.
“I am confident that there is no place for any constructive potential for Lebanon in the face of Iranian influence, international chaos, national split, sectarianism, and state collapse,” he continued.
Hariri addressed his supporters, saying: “To my dear sons and daughters of the Rafic Hariri School, we will continue to serve our people, and our country.”