New Presidential candidate not to make it, Hezbollah says
Lebanese Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Hassan Fadlallah says the new presidential candidate will not make it tot the presidency.
The new presidential candidate in Lebanon will not make it to the presidency, he is just there to challenge the other candidate, Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc member of parliament Hassan Fadlallah said on Sunday.
Fadlallah welcomed "dialogue and convergence and finding consensus to elect a president away from certain parties trying to impose a president or challenge opposing parties."
"On the other end, while we have been keen to open dialogue and establish an understanding to elect a president, the team that raised the slogan of bringing a confrontational president insists on denying reality and the reality of internal balances and the composition of the parliament."
This party, he said, "thinks it is deceiving the Lebanese people, and after exhausting its first moves and consuming its candidacy attempts and ruining the reputation of state institutions, it is now trying to recreate the same ploy by using a different name."
"The role of Parliament is to elect a president for all of Lebanon, not a president for a political team with an approach of canceling [the other parties' candidate]," he added.
"They allow themselves to nominate whomever they want, and when other blocs support an ally of ours, they call it imposition because they go by the slogan of rejecting a president capable of communicating with everyone domestically and internationally all the while imposing a confrontational president," Fadlallah said.
"Do not over-exhaust yourselves and waste time. The [candidate you are nominating] will not reach the Baabda Palace, regardless of who he is. We will prevent them from achieving their goals, and they will not be able to impose their candidate on the rest of the Lebanese people, neither constitutionally nor politically," the Lebanese MP underlined.
Free Patriotic Movement leader Gibran Bassil declared Saturday his movement's support for former Finance Minister Jihad Azour as President. Hezbollah had previously announced its support for Suleiman Frangieh for the presidency.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri had underlined Thursday that "the doors of the Parliament are not and will never be closed for a session to elect a president," stating that if "at least two serious nominees are named for the presidency, the doors to Parliament will be wide open."
Berri considered earlier that a political solution in Lebanon begins with electing a president for the republic, pointing out that Suleiman Franjieh extended his hand to all parties.
"We want a president who is able to address the defense strategy and believes in the Taif Agreement," and one who talks with Syria about border demarcation and the refugee crisis since the Europeans and Americans are "indifferent about the matter," he said.
On his part, MP Jamil Al-Sayyed said on Twitter that "after Jihad Azour's odds increased, there are threats of US sanctions against Berri if he does not call for a parliamentary session to elect a president."
"Days ago, threats were made by Geagea, [MP] Gemayel, and others that if Frangieh's odds were high, they would withdraw from the session, making the number of attending MPs less than 86, and the session would be disrupted according to the constitution."
This comes after the United States threatened to impose sanctions on officials who obstruct the electoral process through US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf.