Hezbollah rules out extension of Michael Sleiman as Lebanese President

Sheikh QassemHezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem ruled out th extension of Presidnet Michel Sleiman’s term, describing the reports talking about this issue as “unworkable hopes.”Sheikh Naim Qassem

In remarks published by Lebanese daily, al-Akhbar, on Tuesday, Sheikh Qassem said that extending Sleiman’s term is “behind us”.

“Proposals to extend President Michel Sleiman’s term are behind us,” Hezbollah deputy chief stressed.

Sheikh Qassem said Hezbollah strongly supported the election of a new president in a timely manner but ruled out any chance that this would take place “because things are not yet mature.”

“It is natural that [the election] be delayed a bit, although we hope it will not be delayed much,” he added.

Meanwhile, his eminence stressed that consensus was needed to elect a new head of state, noting that no camp of the political sides in Lebanon can alone elect a president.

“It is not possible for either March 14 or March 8 to bring a president alone,” he said. “March 8 has been aware of this. That’s why it did not offer a challenging candidate to keep the door open to chances.”

Earlier on Monday, media outlets reported that Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi was seeking a constitutional amendment to allow Sleiman to remain in office if Parliament failed to elect a successor by the May 25 expiration of his term.


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