Presidential Elections Postponed to March 23 as Hariri Vows to Continue Dialogue with Hizbullah

The presidential elections were postponed for the 36th time on Wednesday following a lack of quorum at parliament.

Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled March 23 as the date for a new session.

Wednesday's polls witnessed the participation of 72 lawmakers, including Mustaqbal Movement chief MP Saad Hariri.

After the postponement of the elections, Hariri declared: “We hope the remaining lawmakers will be present in the next session.”

Eighty-six MPs are needed for quorum to be met at parliament for the election of a president.

“I urge all lawmakers to prevent the prolongation of the vacuum, which is killing the whole of Lebanon,” Hariri added.

Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor due to ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps.

On Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh's absence from Wednesday's electoral session, Hariri said: “I understand his absence as Lebanon's democracy has its special characteristics.”

Franjieh has been endorsed by Hariri as president. He is running along with Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun and Progressive Socialist Party candidate MP Henri Helou.

Asked by reporters on his stance on the Gulf Cooperation Council's blacklisting of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, Hariri replied: “The party is undertaking actions in the region that it should not be doing, which led to this designation.”

“Hizbullah has long been designated as terrorist in the Gulf and that has changed nothing in Lebanon,” he said in response to whether the Mustaqbal Movement will halt its dialogue with the party.

“We will hold talks with those we have differences with,” he stressed.

“We will continue the dialogue because we do not want strife in Lebanon,” he emphasized.

Furthermore, the MP stated that officials in Lebanon have taken the decision to avoid the spread of the Syrian crisis to Lebanon, noting that key to the success of this goal is the election of a president.

The GCC on Wednesday labeled Hizbullah a “terrorist organization,” a day after Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of pressuring Lebanon to silence his party.

The GCC cited the party's "terrorist acts and incitement in Syria, Yemen and in Iraq," which were threatening Arab security.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.