Arslan Backs Jumblat's Proposal to Extend Parliament's Mandate over Tense Situation

Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan announced on Saturday his support for Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat's proposal to extend the parliament's term to avoid a deteriorating security situation.

“I support the proposal of MP Walid Jumblat to extend the legislature's mandate,” said Arslan from Ain el-Tineh following talks with Speaker Nabih Berri.

“I urged Berri to extend parliament's term for two years because the security situation does not allow transparent and democratic polls to take place,” said the Druze leader.

Jumblat told reporters following talks with Berri on Friday that he supported an extension “because we can't hold elections in this tense atmosphere.”

"Amid these bleak circumstances, I don't think that it is useful to engage in the elections farce,” said Jumblat, another Druze chief.

“The elections shouldn't turn into a source of strife and sectarian divisions,” said Arslan on Saturday, urging politicians to be transparent when raising issues in public.

In a statement he issued on the occasion of Liberation Day, Arslan threw his weight behind Hizbullah, saying “the journey of the resistance will continue because it has become a necessity.”

Liberation Day commemorates the Israeli army’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000. 

Arslan slammed Hizbullah's critics, saying they should prove what they have done for the nation instead of criticizing it.

“What the resistance is doing today for the sake of Lebanon and Syria is a patriotic and Arab nationalist duty,” the MP said.

Hizbullah has been widely criticized locally and internationally for supporting Syrian regime troops against the rebels mainly in the town of al-Qusayr that lies near Lebanon's northeastern border.

Regime forces backed by Hizbullah fighters pressed on Saturday an assault they launched almost nearly a week ago.

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