Presidential Settlement Would Restore Calm to Lebanon

Presidential Settlement Would Restore Calm to LebanonPresidential Settlement Would Restore Calm to Lebanon

Several parliamentarians believe the likely settlement of a long-running deadlocked presidential crisis in Lebanon will help bring calm to the Arab country.

Differences among Lebanese lawmakers have repeatedly prevented them from achieving consensus over selecting a president in the past two years.

The prospects for a settlement emerged after a Thursday announcement by Lebanon's former prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, that he backs Michel Aoun's bid for presidency.

Aoun is the founder of Free Patriotic Movement and an ally of the Hezbollah political bloc, the rival of Hariri-led March 14 Alliance.

Kamal Dehqani Firouzabadi, deputy chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Tuesday that Aoun's success in filling the presidential post that has been vacant for almost 30 months can bring security and development to Lebanon.

The lawmaker said the opening came after Hariri distanced himself from Saudis who were trying to use him to destabilize Lebanon.

Firouzabadi said Hariri's announcement marks another failure for Saudis, whose irrational policies are isolating them.

The lawmaker said that in the past six years, Saudis, unfortunately, have saw their interests in trying to exploit divisions among the Lebanese nation to create civil wars in the country.

"The current conditions in Iraq and Syria is what Riyadh had envisioned for Lebanon," he said, adding that prudence and insight of the Hezbollah resistance movement led to the Saudi failure in setting Lebanon on fire.


*** Positive Consequences for Syria

Another member of the parliamentary panel, Seyyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, hailed Hariri's decision and said the return of calm to Lebanon will positively impact Syria's conflict.

The neighboring Syria has been the scene of a five-year-old standoff between the Syrian Army and its allies, including Hezbollah fighters, and foreign-backed militants fighting to bring down the government.

However, Hosseini warned that the Saudi regime, which has suffered defeats in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, will use its pawns to prevent stability from improving in Lebanon.

"Saudis may carry out assassinations like the 2005 terror of prominent politician Rafik Hariri, or send terrorists to Lebanon's streets to disturb political equations," he said.

Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday that the door to electing a president was "wide open" and the bloc's members in the parliament would vote for Aoun at the next session to elect the president.

The 128-seat parliament will convene on Oct. 31, the 46th sitting since the term of the last president, Michel Sleiman, expired in 2014, each of which failed to gain the two-thirds quorum needed for a vote.

Aoun must now rally enough support to reach the required quorum at the sitting.

Under Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shia Muslim.

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