Raad Rules Out Election of President who is Not 'Keen on Resistance'

Head of Hizbullah's Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad stressed Sunday that the country's next president must be “keen on the resistance” and on the so-called army-people-resistance equation.

“Only a candidate who is keen on the resistance ... and who really wants to build a state of law and institutions can reach the presidential seat,” Raad said during a Hizbullah ceremony in the southern town of al-Kfour.

He said the coming president must not “discriminate” between a citizen and another.

“We want a president who would cling to the equation that achieved victory for our people, and who would not give it up when offered temptations,” Raad added.

He blamed the procrastination in electing a new head of state on “some parties that are holding onto the candidacy of a nominee who is seeking a civil war among the Lebanese and who wants to waste the achievements of the resistance.”

“This candidate will not make it to the helm of the country, regardless of the forces that might support him,” Raad said, in an apparent reference to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.

Commenting on the tenure of President Michel Suleiman, the Hizbullah lawmaker added: “We are bidding farewell to a presidential term but we won't be hasty in announcing our final verdict on it, despite the fact that we were dismayed by the performance, at least in the last phase of this term.”

“We won't allow anyone inside or outside to manipulate the situation in Lebanon according to the approach and policies of the forces that are hostile to Lebanon and its people,” Raad underlined.

Parliament has so far failed to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

Most of the March 8 camp's MPs have boycotted four rounds of elections over their call for an agreement on a consensual president and their rejection of the candidacy of Geagea.

A fifth round of polls is scheduled to be held next Thursday, two days before the expiry of Suleiman's six-year tenure.


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