Bush proposal threatens Lebanon stability: Hezbollah

Hezbollah said on Friday a proposal by US President Bush was a threat to the country's stability.

Bush proposal threatens Lebanon stability: Hezbollah
Hezbollah said on Friday a proposal by US President George W. Bush for Lebanon's Western-backed governing coalition to elect a new president unilaterally was a threat to the country's stability.

Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah saidthat Bush's comments on Thursday had further complicated efforts to forge a deal between the governing coalition and the Syria-backed opposition, which have been locked in a power struggle for more than a year.

Parliament is due to convene on Saturday in the 10th attempt at electing a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, whose term expired on Nov. 23.

The nine previous sessions have failed because a two-thirds quorum in parliament can only be secured by an agreement between the governing coalition and the opposition, led by Hezbollah.

"Matters are complicated and Bush's position has increased their complexity," Fadlallah said, adding it was almost certain that there would not be an election in Saturday's session "because we have not yet reached an understanding".

Accusing Syria of interfering in Lebanon, Bush said that if the deadlock over the presidency continued, the governing coalition should vote using its simple majority of MPs.

Governing coalition leaders have yet to comment on Bush's proposal. They have lately backed away from threats of a unilateral vote and have stated their commitment to reaching consensus with the opposition over the presidency.

Hezbollah has previously warned that a unilateral move by the majority to elect a president would be tantamount to a coup.

"The American administration wants to embroil who it considers its allies in Lebanon in choices which they already know threaten stability in Lebanon, strike at national unity and spread chaos as happened in Iraq," Fadlallah said.

Hezbollah was committed to a deal with the governing coalition, he added, blaming the United States for obstructing mediation efforts led by France to forge an agreement.

The opposition wants guarantees that it will have veto power in the new cabinet to be formed once Suleiman is elected. Majority leader Saad al-Hariri this week said he was opposed to the idea.

Damascus said on Thursday it was working to facilitate the presidential election. Hariri responded in a statement that Syria, which dominated Lebanon until 2005, had effectively announced that the vote "will not happen".


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Aralık 2007, 18:45
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