Lebanon’s Hezbollah party called for holding dialogue over its weapons, and for the election of a president, “who has the ability” to carry out economic rescue efforts and to discuss the country’s defense strategy with the participation of all Lebanese components.
Seven successive parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a new president for the crisis-hit nation, in light of deep divisions among the different political blocs. The tenure of former President Michel Aoun ended on October 31.
The Shiite duo, represented by Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, are pushing for the nomination of Marada Party leader Sleiman Franjieh, who is rejected by Hezbollah’s ally, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).
On the other hand, the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Kataeb and a number of independent deputies are voting in favor of MP Michel Moawad.
Amid the sharp divergence between the Shiite duo and the FPM over Franjieh’s nomination, the three parties resorted, over the previous sessions, to cast a blank vote.
Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Friday: “If the Resistance is a point of contention, then refer it to dialogue and let us bring in a president, who has the ability to conduct rescue work with the participation of all the Lebanese on the economic file, and who can manage a dialogue session… to discuss the defense strategy…”
Qassem stressed that the election of a president was necessary to address the economic and social crisis.
“The mandatory way for the start of reforms and for saving Lebanon is the election of a president,” he said.
Meanwhile, Moawad met on Friday with British Ambassador Hamish Cowell, with whom he discussed the latest developments.
Moawad’s media office said that the talks with Cowell emphasized the need to respect the constitutional obligations, the first of which is the election of a new head of state and the implementation of reforms to put the country on the path of recovery.”