Situation ‘ripe’ for election of president, says Hezbollah official


raad mohammadMP Mohammed Raad who heads up Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc announced on Monday that the situation in Lebanon has become “ripe” for the election of a new president and ending the presidential vacuum that has been around since May 2014.

“I believe that the situation has become ripe and we hope to see a solution in the near future,” said Raad in the southern town of Arabsalim during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the July 2006 war between his party and Israel that devastated Lebanon’s infrastructure

“Ending the presidential vacuum and electing a new president would revitalize state institutions and contribute to building the state and its agencies,” Raad admitted.

“This crisis would be quickly resolved when all Lebanese feel that partnership between them is inevitable,” Raad added.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Narallah reiterated Saturday that his party is still committed to Aoun’s presidential nomination while stressing that Berri is Hezbollah’s only candidate for the parliament speaker post.

“We have been committed to General Aoun’s presidential nomination since the period that preceded the July war, and should an agreement be reached over the president, we are open to discussing the premiership,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech marking 10 years since the end of the July 2006 war with Israel.

“It is clear that everyone has entered a waiting phase although the issues are still in the hands of the Lebanese, and everyone agrees that the solution begins by the election of a president,” Nasrallah said.

One observer decried Nasrallah’s remarks on Aoun and the presidency:

“Nasrallah lies through his teeth . I stopped believing anything he says on TV . Everyone knows the decision is up to Iran and not him and Iran is using the Lebanese presidential vacuum as a leverage in the Syrian war. Despite Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian war that war is Iran’s war and Iran is going to fight there for the last Hezbollah man .”

The Lebanese parliament failed again earlier this month and for the 43rd time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 , 2014.

As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the session, because they could not reportedly guarantee Aoun’s election as a president.

Amal Movement leader, Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to September 7, 2016.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea who was the first to announce his presidential bid and who later decided to back Aoun in order to end the impasse , said after the failed election.

” Neither Hezbollah nor Iran want a president , not even Aoun despite the fact that the FPM founder has the votes to guarantee his election.”