BEIRUT: Hezbollah will retain its arms regardless of the outcome of the crisis in Syria or the possibility of a March 14 victory in the 2013 parliamentary elections, a senior party figure said Sunday.
“We say to March 14 and those who finance this party from regional and international countries that the formula of the ‘Army, people and resistance’ is too strong and firm to be shaken by elections whatever the results and development in Syria whatever the outcome,” Sheikh Nabil Qaouk said.
Qaouk, deputy head of Hezbollah's Executive Council, delivered the speech at a graduation ceremony in south Lebanon.
Hezbollah has long maintained that the tripartite formula of the “Army, people and resistance” is the only means of defending Lebanon against Israeli aggression; however, the March 14 coalition has repeatedly asked the party to surrender its arms to the state.
“This formula was made with blood and will remain until the grand victory; the return of [Israeli occupied] Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shuba Hills,” Qaouk added.
He also said that the March 14 coalition are looking to eradicate the formula by ridding Hezbollah of its arms as they bet on the fall of the Lebanese party’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.
President Michel Sleiman has proposed a national defense strategy that would benefit from Hezbollah’s arms to rival political leaders at the recent National Dialogue session.
Under the proposal, Hezbollah would not hand its arms over to the Army, as demanded by the March 14 coalition, nor would there be coordination between the resistance and the Army, the defense strategy that Hezbollah has backed.
Qaouk also touched on the ongoing debate with regards to a new electoral law aimed at replacing the 1960s law used in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
“They [March 14] seek a law that fits their projects to reach governance and carry out foreign commitments,” he said. “They want elections as means for revenge and domination and that would lead the country to crises and great dangers.”