President Michel Suleiman reiterated on Tuesday his complete rejection to any attempt to extend his six-year-term, ruling out that Hizbullah would allow it.
“Extending my term is out of the question. If I was seeking to be granted an extension I wouldn’t have taken the stance that I did over the past years,” Suleiman said in an interview with al-Mustaqbal newspaper.
He expressed belief that Hizbullah will block attempts to extend his term, wondering how the party would approve it after the recent stances he took recently.
“It’s impossible,” Suleiman stressed.
The president’s tenure ends in May 2014, but the constitutional period to elect a new head of state begins on March 25, two months prior to the expiration of Suleiman’s mandate.
Asked about reports saying that Iran will agree to extend his term in return to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s term extension, Suleiman denied the matter.
“The presidential elections will be staged on time despite what some sides assume,” the president noted.
He voiced hope that the political arch-foes would reach common grounds over the name of the new president, who should be a “consensual president.”
The “new president should adhere to the Baabda Declaration and seek to implement it in order to safeguard the national sovereignty.”
On Syrian President Assad’s latest remarks concerning the Lebanese presidential elections, Suleiman told the daily: “We don’t need specifications from the outside, we have our ingredients. We will elect a president that the Lebanese agree on.”
Earlier this month, Assad voiced hope that the next Lebanese president would support the resistance axis.
“We are interested in… what the upcoming Lebanese President could offer the axis of the resistance, which is the basic criterion for us,” Assad said.
Suleiman considered that his stances aim at “restoring the balance in the country, in particular, after Hizbullah involved in the crisis in the neighboring country Syria.”
Last week, the president lashed out at the resistance, saying: “the resistance overstepped the power given to it when it decided to engage in battles in Syria.”
On the upcoming national dialogue session set to be held on March 31 and Hizbullah’s decision to boycott it, Suleiman said that the party didn’t inform him about this decision.
Media reports said that Hizbullah will not attend all-party talks as it prefers to participate in a session headed by a new president other than Suleiman.
The rift increased recently between the President and Hizbullah after Suleiman described the people-army-resistance formula as “wooden” during a speech at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in February.
Suleiman’s comments had angered Hizbullah, accusing him of not being able to differentiate between “what’s golden and what’s wooden.”