Raad Says Boycott of Presidential Vote Sessions a 'Constitutional Right'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
MP Mohammed Raad, the head of Hizbullah's Loyalty to Resistance bloc, on Friday described the behavior of lawmakers boycotting parliamentary sessions to elect a new president as a “constitutional” right.
“MPs are addressing the issue of electing a president according to their constitutional, legal, political, human and national right,” Raad said during a Hizbullah ceremony in the southern town of Jbaa.
This right “is being practiced by those who want to preserve the country and pave the ground for the election of a president who can safeguard the country and its strength,” the MP added.
The parliament had failed Thursday to elect a new president in the fifth round of the polls that was seen as a last-ditch effort to pick a new head of state before the expiry of President Michel Suleiman's six-year term on Sunday.
The election could not take place because the majority of the March 8 alliance's lawmakers boycotted the session.
Referring to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea without naming him, Raad said the LF chief's nomination was “exploited” by his allies during the constitutional timeframe, noting that they would start searching for other candidates after the deadline passes.
The Hizbullah lawmaker said the rival camp's conduct was detrimental to the electoral process.
The March 14 coalition has fielded Geagea as its official nominee in the presidential race but the LF leader received 48 votes during the first round of polls, falling short of the 86 votes needed to be elected president.
Geagea is known for his opposition to Hizbullah's policies and his presidential program contains a clause on ending Israel's occupation of the Shebaa Farms through negotiations with Syria and the U.N. ahead of integrating the party's arsenal of weapons into the Lebanese Armed Forces.
But Raad reminded in his speech that “we in Lebanon have come a long way to control our own decision, preserve our sovereignty, prevent aggression against our people and achieve an equation of deterrence that our enemy cannot overlook.”