BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt called on former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to return to Lebanon and lead a new Cabinet after the presidential election.
“[Hariri should] return to Lebanon today and [not] tomorrow because there is no longer any justification for [his] absence,” Jumblatt, who spoke to As-Safir daily in comments published Saturday, said.
“I support [Hariri] returning and heading a comprehensive government [after a new president is elected], this way we save ourselves and the country of a great deal of deadlock and unrest,” he said.
Hariri left Lebanon in early 2011, months after the collapse of his National Unity government. He has repeatedly cited security concerns for his absence.
Jumblatt also said that he would continue to support the candidate MP Henri Helou for the presidency.
“It's in the country's best interest to elect a president ahead of the end of President Michel Sleiman's term on May 25 to avoid any vacuum,” he said.
Jumblat said that he will agree on any candidate capable of “managing the crisis in the Lebanon, ending tension,” who “could contribute to rapprochement between the various components of the Lebanese and political camps.”