24 October 2016 - 23:03
News ID: 424545
A
Rasa - Lebanon’s presidential hopeful MP Michel Aoun expressed gratitude to the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Sunday night for helping facilitate a near end to Lebanon's power vacuum.
Michel Aoun & Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

RNA - A statement issued by Hezbollah press office Monday said that Aoun's remark came after a meeting between the two officials, according to the Daily Star.

 

"We are here tonight to thank Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah for helping us ... resolve the intractable presidential election problem," the Free Patriotic Movement founder said after meeting Nasrallah.

 

He expressed optimism that the power void, now in its third year, was near its end.

 

The statement said recent political developments in Lebanon and the region were topics of discussion, "in particular the presidential elections and the necessity to continue efforts to [end] it in the best possible positive atmosphere."

 

The meeting, which was held in the presence of FPM leader Gebran Bassil and Hezbollah officials Hajj Hussein Khalil and Wafiq Safa, came hours after Nasrallah announced that his party would support Aoun’s candidacy, despite opposition from Hezbollah’s March 8 allies.

 

“We must unify our stances and go to a positive presidential election on which we can build for the next stage,” Nasrallah had said earlier Sunday.

 

Nasrallah was clearly referring to Speaker Nabih Berri, who has staunchly resisted supporting Aoun. Berri has declared that he and his 13-member parliamentary bloc – part of the March 8 alliance – would not vote for Aoun at the next session to elect a president, scheduled for Oct. 31, although he said he would not attempt to block his election by boycotting the session.

 

The session will be the 46th attempt to elect a president since the six-year term of Michel Sleiman ended in May 2014.

 

In addition to Berri’s opposition, Hezbollah has to grapple with a similar opposition from Aoun’s main rival contender, Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh, formerly backed by Hariri for the country’s top Christian post.

 

Frangieh, a key figure in the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition, has vowed to stay in the presidential race despite Hariri’s support for Aoun.

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