Nasrallah: Hezbollah will back a president who backs the resistance
Hezbollah Chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Sunday urged rival groups to resolve the presidential deadlock in the shortest time possible, adding that his group sought a president who would back, rather than abandon, the resistance.
During his speech commemorating the withdrawal of the Israeli Army from south Lebanon in 2000, Nasrallah said Syria and the so-called “resistance axis” would emerge victorious over what he described as a conspiracy to divide the region.
“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,” Nasrallah said 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.
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 chief also spoke about negotiations between MP Michel Aoun and head of the Future Movement former PM Saad Hariri, saying Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea’s candidacy was aimed primarily at obstructing Aoun’s chance of becoming president.
“This challenging candidacy was only announced to cut short another candidacy ... because we and they know that the latter [Geagea] did not have a chance of reaching the post,” Nasrallah said.
He also accused his rivals in the March 14 coalition of seeking to extend Sleiman’s 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.
Nasrallah, whose ties with Sleiman deteriorated in recent months over the former president’s opposition to Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, also said 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 sovreignty,” 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.