Lebanon’s Hezbollah threatening to take over the country

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MP Mohammad Raad , head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc

Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc chief MP Mohammed Raad warned Sunday that the “strong” parties would control the country should chaos prevail.

MP Mohammad Raad , head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc

The Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group is the only militia that was allowed to keep its arms at the end of the civil war in 1990 .

“Some want to implicate the Resistance is something it does not want, but it wants to practice a positive role so that the country does not collapse over the heads of everyone,” Raad said trying to further identify Hezbollah as the party that will is preparing to take over the country

“Those who want to be afraid must be afraid of the failure to form a government, because this would lead to chaos, and when the country descends into chaos, the strong parties will control it,” he warned.

“We are trying to repair the falling wall but there are individuals who are still pushing this wall so that it falls, and this is our story with the government that is being formed,” Raad went on to say.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Beirut home of Lebanon’s new prime minister on Saturday, calling for Hezbollah backed PM designate Hassan Diab’s resignation less than 10 days after he was appointed.

Echoing protester demands, Diab promised to form a government of independent experts within six weeks – in a country where appointing a cabinet can take months.

But protesters on Saturday were unconvinced by his promise.

“We’re here to bring down Hassan Diab. He doesn’t represent us. He’s one of them,” said one young demonstrator, referring to the country’s ruling elite.

The support given to him by Hezbollah also angers many protesters and pro-Hariri Sunni Muslims.

Supporters of Hezbollah and its ally Amal have attacked the anti government protesters on several occasions

Supporters of the Iran-backed militant group hold the flag of Shiite Hezbollah and Amal Movement groups as they stand in front of Lebanese army soldiers in Beirut, Lebanon, early Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Security forces fired tear gas amid confrontations in central Beirut that went into Monday morning between Hezbollah supporters and demonstrators protesting against Lebanon’s political elite. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai on Sunday warned against “the exclusion or marginalization of any main component in Lebanon,” amid ongoing negotiations to form a new government.

“Lebanon cannot be ruled through hegemony, confrontation or a one-sided government,” al-Rai cautioned in his Sunday Mass sermon.

Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, while protests against corruption and mismanagement have gripped the country since October. The local currency has taken a nose dive, losing about 30% of its value after over 20 years of being pegged to the dollar. Banks are imposing unprecedented capital controls to protect their deposits amid a deepening confidence crisis. Meanwhile, layoffs and salary cuts are becoming the norm while politicians bicker over forming a new government.

The international community has urged a new cabinet to be formed swiftly to implement economic reforms and unlock international aid.