Nasrallah calls for referendum or early elections to end Lebanon crisis
Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday his movement is ready to maintain course for the next 50 years to confront alleged attempts by the parliamentary majority to change Lebanon's identity. "They are stuck with us for 50 years more," Nasrallah said.
In a televised speech to 1,734 Hizbullah students who graduated with college degrees, Nasrallah also slammed the international tribunal saying it is aimed at announcing ready-made verdicts against certain suspects in the 2005 murder of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes.
He said four generals jailed in connection with the crime were "political prisoners" in Lebanon. He was referring to former director general of the general security department Gen. Jamil as-Sayyed, former commander of the internal security forces Gen. Ali el-Hajj, former Presidential Guards commander Brig. Gen. Mustafa Hamdan and former director of army intelligence Raymond Azar.
Nasrallah also proposed either a referendum or early elections to allow the Lebanese people have a say in the ongoing political crisis, "or else the status quo would persist for two more years" pending general elections to choose a new legislative authority.
"We are not in a hurry," Nasrallah stressed.
He accused the Parliamentary majority which supports Premier Fouad Saniora's government of "carrying out (U.S. President George" Bush's instructions." According to him, the way to resolve domestic problems was "not to resort to foreign parties but to the people".
The majority, Nasrallah said, has hopes that a regional war would erupt in three months "that's April, May and June, against Iran … which would reflect on the whole region." "But what if such a war does not erupt?" Nasrallah asked. "and have they thought of repercussions of such a war in case it erupted?"
The Hizbullah-led opposition, according to Nasrallah, is "determined to avoid civil war. "We will continue to use peaceful, democratic and civil means" of protest.
Nasrallah also paid tribute to President Emile Lahoud, terming him "a guardian of national principles."