Mustaqbal Says Nasrallah Has No Right to 'Impose Aoun as Sole Candidate'
Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc stressed Tuesday that Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah does not have the right to “impose” his ally Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun as a “sole presidential candidate.”
“Sayyed Nasrallah has the right to cling to General Michel Aoun's nomination but this right does not entitle him to impose him as a sole presidential candidate,” said the bloc in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.
“Sayyed Nasrallah is once again bypassing the Constitution and its stipulations regarding the election of the president, the election of the parliament speaker and the designation of the prime minister,” it added.
Nasrallah had on Saturday hinted that Hizbullah does not mind the re-designation of al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri as premier in return for the election of Aoun as president and Speaker Nabih Berri as head of parliament.
“The issues of electing a president, electing a speaker and naming a prime minister are national issues par excellence and not issues for each religious community or sect to monopolize,” Mustaqbal said in its statement.
“The Constitution clearly stipulates this and the conferees have reaffirmed it during the latest national dialogue sessions,” it noted.
“Those obstructing the (presidential) electoral process are well-known – Hizbullah, the Free Patriotic Movement and their allies – and it is an underestimation of people's intelligence to think that anyone inside or outside the country believes the arbitrary accusations against al-Mustaqbal Movement and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” in this regard, the bloc added.
Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.
Hariri, who is close to Saudi Arabia, launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.
Hariri's move prompted Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea to endorse the nomination of Aoun, his long-time Christian rival.
The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid argue that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.