Lebanon’s Saad Hariri pledges to uphold principles of the ‘Cedar Revolution’

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On the eight anniversary of his father’s death, Saad Hariri delivered a speech via video link from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia remembering the man and his legacy.

The head of Lebanon’s Future Movement called on the Lebanese people to ensure the country’s future as a civil state in the upcoming elections.

He vowed allegiance to the principles of the Cedar revolution, an event which ended the 30 year Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

“We will run in the parliamentary elections alongside our March 14 allies and the Lebanese who believe in a civil state,” he said in an address to a rally commemorating the death of Rafic Hariri, affectionately dubbed ‘Mr. Lebanon.’

Saad, who currently lives in France due to security threats, continued to say: “we are a civil political movement, moderate and democratic, and no one and nothing can drag us to sectarian, violent or extremist positions.”

“I promise to achieve the principles of the Cedar Revolution,” he added.

This February, Saad announced a four-point political plan which included establishing a government representing all sects as defined by the Taif Accord of 1989.

Assad's downfall

Opposition leader Saad Hariri also predicted the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom he accuses of assassinating his father in a massive bomb attack in 2005.

“The regime of Bashar al-Assad will inevitably go down. And its collapse will be loud not only in Syria but across the Arab world,” Hariri said.

Lebanon, where Syria still wields significant influence, is deeply divided over the Syrian revolt and fears that the sectarian civil war that has claimed nearly 70,000 lives, according to a United Nations estimate, could spill over into its smaller neighbor.

In December, Syria issued arrest warrants against Hariri and a close political ally for “terrorist crimes” of financing and arming rebels fighting Assad.

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

In his speech Saad was decidedly anti-Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah refuses to admit this reality and is willing to (politically) bribe the PM (Najib Miqati) to make him cover up for their arms,” he said, referencing the proliferation of weapons in Lebanon which he deems the “mother of all problems.”

“Any direct denying of the use of Hezbollah’s arms is denying the core of Lebanon’s problem.”

He continued his attack against Hezbollah, saying the party “does not represent the Shiite sect.”

The former prime minster aired his opinion of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), an international criminal court whose mandate is to hold trials for those accused of killing Hariri and other national figures.

He said the court “is making progress (in finding his father’s killer) and the assailants will be apprehended despite Hezbollah’s refusal to hand them over.”

The STL has accused four Hezbollah members for the murder, however the party denies the charges.