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                                        Volume. 11979

Hezbollah warns of power vacuum in Lebanon
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_Hezbollah99(2).jpgHezbollah Tuesday called for a political consensus on a new president and warned that Lebanon might slip into a power vacuum if no head of state is elected by May 25.

Political leaders must “agree on a president,” Hezbollah’s deputy head Sheikh Naim Qassem said, according to the Daily Star.

“If no consensus is reached, it means that ... we might plunge into [power] vacuum," Qassem warned. "I’m not saying we want [a power] vacuum, but I’m saying that this vacuum is the natural result of the failure by some [politicians] to make consensual decisions.”

Qassem said that not just any president could run Lebanon.

“If a president is helpless, without color or taste, it will be a big mistake because this president won’t be able to govern the country,” he said. “A president who is capable of running the country and creating a state of stability is one who is able to draft an agreement among the Lebanese political forces, commit to the agreement, develop a work plan and stick to his words and obligations and have credibility."

Meanwhile, Hezbollah MP in Lebanese parliament said that Lebanon’s future president should protect resistance against Israel.

"We need a president of the republic who functions in harmony with the choice of his resistant people and who can preserve the state's sovereignty…," Mohammad Raad, the head of the parliamentary bloc of Hezbollah resistance group, said on Monday, according to Al-Alam.

Lebanon needs a president who can preserve the sovereignty of the nation, “not a president who would work to maintain sovereignty according to international and regional stock exchange,” Raad added.

"Lebanon, through coordination between its resistance and the Lebanese army and people, would be able to preserve its existence,” he noted.

President Michel Sleiman’s term ends May 25 with no clear candidate capable of garnering the needed majority in Parliament to win the presidency.

A third round of voting is scheduled for Wednesday. However, the session is likely to fail to elect a president amid an expected boycott by most MPs from the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition.

The Lebanese parliament delayed voting on the country’s next president over differences among lawmakers during their second attempt to pick a successor to President Michel Sleiman on April 30.

The Lebanese official National News Agency said that parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, “has set the date of May 7 as a new date to hold a parliamentary session, given the lack of quorum on Wednesday [April 30]."
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