Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rai reportedly asked Hezbollah to convince its ally Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun to head to the parliament to elect a new head of state or withdraw from the presidential race in favor of a consensus candidate that would be acceptable to all sides.
According to al-Joumhouria newspaper published on Saturday, the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group rejected al-Rai’s request and informed him that the party backs Aoun’s candidacy until the very end.
Hezbollah’s response was reportedly conveyed by the party’s politburo chief Sayyed Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed during his recent visit to Bkirki, according to the report
Al-Sayyed reiterated after talks with al-Rai last week Hezbollah’s staunch support for Aoun to reach the Baabda Palace, the paper added.
“Aoun is a competent person who is capable of playing a positive role if he was elected as a president and he can assume responsibilities amid the difficult situation” the country is passing through, al-Sayyed was quoted as saying
The delegation met with al-Rai to extend its greetings to him on the occasion of Christmas.
Al-Joumhouria said that the hour and a half meeting between al-Rai and Hezbollah’s delegation was held in private away from the spotlight.
The Lebanese parliament failed on Dec 10 and and for the 16th time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25.
As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Shiite Hezbollah militant group and Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the sessions.
Speaker Nabih Berri postponed to Jan. 7 , 2015 Lebanon’s presidential election