21 mai 2007: The seduciton of the widow Hariri: hopes for premiership dashed by family, Saudi Arabia (encore un câble réjouissant du #cablegate):
Further to something we first mentioned in the 4/23/07 daily sitrep, beach resort owner and political gadfly Roger Edde has pursued a far-fetched plan to achieve his long-shot goal of becoming Lebanon’s next president: he has dangled before the eyes of Rafiq Hariri’s Paris-based widow Nazek the prize of becoming Prime Minister herself. Edde claims to have won the blessings of a less-than-salubrious triumvirate — Syria, Hizballah, and President Emile Lahoud — for his plan to have a Nazek Hariri-run technocratic cabinet replace that of Fouad Siniora now, with Edde’s own selection as president to follow in the autumn. Edde also claimed to have unspecified USG support, supposedly acquired via contacts of his Amcit wife. The appeal for Nazek would be the opportunity to kick out the usurper Siniora, whom she finds loathsome, and restore what she sees as the rightful Hariri presence in the Grand Serail. MP Saad Hariri and Saudi Ambassador Abdulaziz Khoja separately told the Ambassador on 5/19 that both the Hariri family and Saudi Arabia have vetoed the idea; Talking by phone with French Ambassador Bernard Emie (who was with Ambassador Feltman at the time), Hariri legal advisor Basile Yared reported from Paris on 5/19 that the idea was “dead.” Dead but not buried: Walid Jumblatt, suspicious of Nazek’s hatred of Siniora, remains nervous that something “fishy” (Jumblatt’s preferred adjective for anything benefiting Syria) is up. End summary.