Hezbollah chief calls for swift presidential election

Hezbollah chief calls for swift presidential election
Mon May 26, 2014 14:51:26

Secretary General of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has urged rival groups in the country to resolve the presidential election deadlock in the shortest time possible, maintaining that his group sought a president who would back, rather than abandon, the resistance.

“Starting today, we have entered a very critical phase in Lebanon, which we should deal with in a calm manner to preserve civil peace and stability,” said Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Sunday night via a television screen in the southern village of Bint Jbeil as Lebanon celebrated Liberation Day.

“What is important is to exert all efforts to shorten the period of time [in vacuum] and have an elected president as soon as possible, rather than observe and wait for regional developments,” he added.

Lebanon plunged into a presidential vacuum Sunday with the end of President Michel Sleiman’s six-year term and no candidate capable of garnering the required majority to win.

Seyyed Nasrallah said the Lebanese still had a chance to elect a “Lebanon-made” president, who he said should be “strong, capable of preserving stability and peace, backed by his environment and the people, capable of reassuring the various political groups and be able to truly help Lebanon overcome this difficult phase.”

The Hezbollah leader also charged that the Saudi-backed, pro-western March 14 coalition was seeking to extend Sleiman’s presidency term.

“They did not have any intention at all to elect a president before May 25 but [instead intended] to extend the president’s mandate ... and they offered us so many things for such a purpose,” he added.

Seyyed Nasrallah, whose ties with Sleiman deteriorated in recent months over the former president’s opposition to Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, underlined that his group sought a president who would not backstab the resistance.

“We don’t want a president to protect the resistance. The resistance in Lebanon is the one that protects the state, the people and the sovereignty,” he said.

“We want a president that does not conspire against us, [does] not backstab us, and remains solid on their position to support the resistance ... that’s not a difficult condition,” Nasrallah added.

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