With the funeral of Lebanon’s assassinated industry minister Pierre Gemayel now over, there are serious questions about what is likely to be played out in a highly charged political climate. Syria has tried its best to defuse anger directed at it, denying accusations it was behind the killing.
One state newspaper in Damascus claims agents of Israel or another power were behind the murder to stop the pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies from staging protests that threaten to topple the Lebanese government. Pierre Gemayel’s father, former president Amine Gemayel, said there must be an early presidential poll to replace the Syrian-backed president Emile Lahoud. The Maronite Christian leader Samir Geagea is said to support a march on Lahoud’s office to call for his resignation, or the setting up of an inquiry into the country’s string of political assassinations.