Lebanon: Future Movement warns of a civil war

Lebanon: Future Movement warns of a civil war
The secretary general of Lebanon's Future Movement has warned that if compromise is not reached to end the country's presidential impasse the alternative could be civil war.
2 min read
06 December, 2015
Lebanon's security forces need the necessary political cover [AFP]
The Secretary General of the Lebanese Future Movement warned on Friday that if former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's proposed initiative to end the presidential impasse in the country ended up in failure, the crisis could lead to a "civil war".

Ahmad Hariri said that in case the head of the Future Movement's initiative "fails to reach a compromise" and was not accepted by rival parties, "a president would not be elected on a slow burner, but with blood."

In a speech before the Beirut Families Union, Ahmad Hariri warned that if the former premiere's initiative did not come to fruition, the political crisis could lead to a second civil war due to the political vacuum and the crisis in Syria.

Saad Hariri backed Sleiman Frangieh, who is from a rival political camp, to become Lebanon's next president and end the country's 19-month long presidential impasse.

Former president Michel Suleiman stepped down after his six-year-term ended in May 2014, leaving Lebanon without a head of state as lawmakers repeatedly failed to agree on a consensus president.

According to the country's power-sharing system, the president must be a Maronite Christian.

Although Frangieh has close ties with the Syrian regime, he has received the backing of the Saudis - and some sources say the Iranians too.

Iran-backed Hizballah is yet to announce its support for Frangieh's nomination and would likely link its stance on this issue to that of its ally, MP Michel Aoun, who has been seeking the presidency for himself for years.

Lebanon's security forces "need the necessary political cover" to be able to fulfil their duties, argued Ahmad Hariri.

"If this initiative succeeds, then we will all be winners," he added.