BEIRUT: Hezbollah 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.
“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.”
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.
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."