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Lebanon’s Hezbollah backs Suleiman Franjieh’s presidential bid

June 12, 2023 at 2:18 pm

Fighters of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah [ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images]

Deputy Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, Sheikh Naim Qassem, has affirmed the group’s support for the head of the Marada Movement, Suleiman Franjieh, to become Lebanon’s next president.

The National News Agency quoted Qassem as saying that Franjieh is the person qualified to be president of the republic because he possesses “comprehensive national characteristics, and has a clear political vision in preserving liberation and independence, and supporting policies that put Lebanon in the right position.”

“He has a rescue vision, cooperates with others in order to confirm his vision, is open towards Arab and foreign countries, and has no problem with anyone,” he added.

He explained that he will vote in favour of Franjieh during the presidential election session on Wednesday.

Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, headed by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, support Franjieh’s candidacy, which does not have the support of the main Christian parliamentary blocs in parliament.

A few days ago, the opposition forces and the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, announced their support for former minister and director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Jihad Azour, to be president.

Hezbollah considers Azour a “confrontational candidate and a challenge.”

The term of the former President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, ended on 31 October 2022, and no one has been appointed to the position since.

READ: Assad assures Aoun that he is ‘not interfering’ in choice of Lebanon presidential candidate