BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s parliament speaker said on Thursday the UN security council  had ignored the country’s constitution in voting to set up a tribunal for suspects in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the Security Council had also ignored a need for Lebanese consensus on the court, which the Council on Wednesday voted to set up in a move forecast to cause more instability in Lebanon.

You have picked internationalization instead of the state," Berri, a leading member of the opposition, said in a brief statement.Berri had refused to call parliament to vote on U.N. plans for the court because he contests the legitimacy of the Beirut government.

The governing coalition, including Saad al-Hariri, son and political heir of the former premier, had made establishment of the tribunal a priority and welcomed the Security Council vote as a victory for Lebanon.


Lebanon opposition, including Hezbollah, have claimed the tribunal will be used as a political tool by the United States. Hezbollah has yet to comment on the Security Council vote but has been highly critical of calls for unilateral U.N. action to set up the court.

Damascus has warned that the Security Council’s move could plunge Lebanon into more instability, a view that was echoed in Lebanese newspapers on Thursday.

Writing in the pro-government An-Nahar newspaper, columnist Ali Hamadeh said "the rope was tightening around the neck of the murderers." But he warned that the court "may not bring immediate security. It may push those harmed (by it) to threaten, intimidate and sabotage."

Critics of the tribunal’s unilateral establishment also saw trouble ahead. Omar Neshabi, writing in the pro-opposition al-Akhbar newspaper, said setting up the court without consensus "raises serious concern for security and stability."

Hariri, a Sunni Muslim who leads the governing coalition, also said on Wednesday that it was time to put aside political differences and promised steps towards reconciliation to end Lebanon’s worst political crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Hezbollah and its allies have always said they support the idea of the tribunal but wanted to discuss its mandate.

Hariri was killed by a suicide truck bomb attack on his motorcade aswas passing along Beirut’s seafront corniche. The road was opened on Thursday for the first time since the attack it