BEIRUT (Dispatches) – A high-ranking official from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has lashed out at some politicians and political groups over the ongoing power vacuum in the crisis-hit country, as authorities have failed over the past few months to elect a new president after the term of former President Michel Aoun ended on October 31 last year.
“The appropriate way out of the lingering political and economic crises is to elect a new president for the country. Those who insist on a certain candidate and reject any form of talks and negotiations are liable for the prolongation of the status quo,” Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush said.
“Election of a new head of state is a national and domestic issue. Reliance on foreign powers will not resolve the matter, but would rather complicate the situation. We, therefore, do not count on outsiders to pick a new president and instead rely on national consensus as the most practical solution to complete the task,” he said.
The official said that his movement has been demanding dialogue and understanding ever since Aoun’s mandate expired without a successor, and called upon other politicians and factions in the legislature to reach an agreement.
“No contender has managed to secure a two-thirds majority in the first session of the parliament, with an absolute majority in subsequent rounds. If no modification is made, we would not be able to break the deadlock,” Sheikh Damoush noted.
“The logical solution to end the deadlock is national consensus,” the senior Hezbollah official said.
The remarks come as Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has called for the election of “a brave [Lebanese] president who is willing to sacrifice.”
“We want the election of a president, the formation of a government and the salvation of the country,” the Hezbollah leader said.
“We want a brave president who is willing to sacrifice and does not care about the threats of the Americans. There are such examples and we must look for a government of this type and ministers of this type.”
Lebanon’s presidency has seen stalemate several times since the 1975-1990 civil war. The country has also had only a caretaker government since May 2022.
The Arab country has been mired in an economic crisis that the World Bank has described as one of the worst in recent history, which comes amid crippling sanctions imposed by the US and its allies.
The Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 percent of its value on the black market since 2019.
According to the United Nations, the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon has caused poverty rates to reach more than 80 percent of the population, and food prices have risen by an astonishing 2,000 percent.