Jumblatt quits PSP leadership, paves the way for his son to take over

File photo :Progressive Socialist Part (PSP leader Walid Jumblatt, right, walks with his eldest son Taymour at their ancestral home in Mukhtara in the Shouf district of Mt Lebanon , southeast of Beirut

Beirut – Progressive Socialist Party ( SP) leader Walid Jumblatt announced, on Thursday, his resignation from the presidency of the “Progressive Socialist Party” and from the current leadership council, without mentioning the reasons for his taking this step, which sources close to the party confirmed was to pave the way for his son Taymour to assume the mantle of leadership.

Jumblatt, 73, said Thursday:

“In accordance with the provisions of the party’s constitution and bylaws, we call for an electoral general conference on June 25,” according to the Lebanese “National News Agency.”

Jumblatt instructed the General Secretariat to complete the necessary preparations in accordance with the rules and approved mechanisms, and to issue circulars related to the dates of acceptance of candidates applications, the deadline for withdrawal, and all conditions related to the electoral process, to prepare lists of members of the General Conference, and to send invitations to them.

Commenting on the resignation, the party’s general secretary, Zafer Nasser, said, “The electoral general conference is a natural step in the path of party action, and the elections are also a path that we are accustomed to in the party, and today’s decision is confirmation of this natural path.”

“Lebanon 24” website quoted sources close to the “Progressive Socialist Party” as saying that Jumblatt’s step comes within the framework of the renewal process that he chose to support the march of his son, head of the “Democratic Gathering” bloc, MP Taymour Jumblatt.

The sources denied that Jumblatt’s decision to resign stemmed from internal disputes, revealing that the matter had been expected for some time, specifically after the year 2019 and the “Corona” pandemic , and therefore the matter was not surprising to the party’ , explaining at the same time that the step of change that was taken aims to continue the approach. Development within the “PSP “, especially at the level of leadership.

And whether there are names of candidates for the presidency of the party to succeed Jumblatt, the sources said, “There is nothing clear yet regarding the conference that Jumblatt called for on the twenty-fifth of June. Naturally Taylor will be one of the leading candidates to replace his father

For Some time , Jumblatt seemed to be preparing his son, Taymour, to assume the mantle of leadership. Hie son appeared with him in more than one occasion.

Jumblatt inherited PSP leadership from his father, Kamal Fouad Jumblatt , a Lebanese politician who founded the Progressive Socialist Party and who led the National Movement during the civil war . He was assassinated in 1977 . Syrian president Hafez al Assad, father of current president Bashar al Assad was reportedly behind Jumblatt’s assassination, according former top security officials

The party is represented in Parliament by the “Democratic Gathering” bloc, which includes 9 deputies out of 128, and is headed by MP Taymour Jumblatt .

Jumblatt was known for his opposition to the Syrian regime, especially just before and after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Despite the alliance between Jumblatt and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri (a Shiite), Jumblatt’s bloc has not recently supported the candidacy of Suleiman Franjieh (an ally of Berri and “Hezbollah”) for the presidency.

Lebanon is witnessing an acute political crisis, as parliament has failed during 11 rounds since September 2022 to elect a new president for the country, to succeed Michel Aoun, whose term expired at the end of October 2022.