Report: Jumblat Blames Iran for Hampering Election of President
Democratic Gathering bloc leader MP Walid Jumblat stated on Thursday that Iran is obstructing the election of a Lebanese president, blaming it for the two-year vacuum at the post, An Nahar daily reported.
“Obstructions hampering the elections of a head of state are Iranian,” said Jumblat in an interview to the daily.
The PSP leader urged the two candidates running for the post, founder of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun and Marada chief MP Suleiman Franjieh, to “review” their positions “even if they had to withdraw” from the race paving way for the election of another candidate.
On the suggestion of Speaker Nabih Berri that called for shortening the term of the current parliament, Jumblat said: “I agree to stage early elections but it must be held based on the 1960 electoral law.”
Berri's proposal, made last week, calls for shortening the term of the current parliament and staging the parliamentary polls and later the presidential ones.
The parliamentary elections would be held based on the proportionality electoral law.
Should the political powers fail to agree on this law, then the 1960 one would be used. This law was adopted in the 2009 elections.
Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.
Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps have thwarted the polls.
Numerous electoral sessions have been staged, all but one failed due to a lack of quorum at parliament in wake of a boycott by Aoun's political bloc and that of Hizbullah.
Hizbullah declared earlier this year that it would boycott the polls unless it receives guarantees that its candidate, Aoun, is elected head of state.
This stance has drawn criticism from the March 14 camp and Jumblat, who accused Hizbullah's main ally, Iran, of obstructing the elections.