Fatfat: Nasrallah's Remarks Aimed at Misleading Lebanese

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's latest remarks about the return of Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri to the premiership were only aimed at “misleading the Lebanese,” Mustaqbal bloc MP Ahmed Fatfat said on Monday.

“Sayyed Nasrallah's remarks were vague and general and did not contain anything that requires a response from ex-PM Hariri,” Fatfat said in a phone interview with al-Jadeed TV.

“Nasrallah should press his allies to elect (Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel) Aoun as president instead of trying to impose that on Hariri,” the MP added, describing Nasrallah's alleged behavior as a “violation of democracy.”

“If Aoun has a majority of votes in parliament, let him go to parliament and we are willing to take part in the voting process,” Fatfat went on to say.

Asked about al-Akhbar newspaper's report that Mustaqbal is seeking to extend anew the parliament's term, Fatfat categorically denied the claims.

“The newspaper should have asked Mustaqbal sources, not March 14 sources,” he said.

Asked whether there are talks over a “compromise president,” Fatfat said such deliberations have been running for a long time now.

“Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was the first to make such a proposal and Mustaqbal endorsed his suggestion,” Fatfat noted.

“We hope a consensual, centrist president will be elected and there are dozens of members of the Maronite community who are qualified for assuming this post. But there is an Iranian political decision that is being implemented by Hizbullah and it is aimed at obstruction,” the MP added.

Nasrallah had hinted in a speech on August 13 that Hizbullah would accept the re-designation of Hariri as prime minister in return for the election of Aoun as president and the re-election of Speaker Nabih Berri as head of parliament.

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 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.

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