News / Middle East

Hezbollah Chief Calls for New Leadership in Lebanon

People watch the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on a screen at a cafe in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011.
People watch the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on a screen at a cafe in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011.
Heather Murdock

(( Title: Lebanon Hezbollah Chief
HEAD: Hezbollah Chief Calls for New Leadership in Lebanon
DATE: 01/16/11 18:24:26.000
BYLINE:  Heather Murdock
DATELINE: Beirut
NUMBER: 463137
TYPE: CR ))

People watch the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on a screen at a cafe in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. The leader of Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah says Saad Hariri should not return as prime minister. Nasrallah made his first public comments Sunday since ministers from his movement and their allies resigned from the Cabinet on Wednesday, toppling Hariri's Western-backed government. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)


For the first time since the Lebanese government collapsed on Wednesday, Hezbollah’s leader spoke today, accusing the U.S., Israel, and the international tribunal investigating the 2005 murder of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of trying to destabilize Lebanon.  

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, which is allied with nearly half of the Lebanese parliament, did not say who he wants as the country’s new prime minister. But he was clear about who he does not want:  Sa’ad Hariri, the son of the slain prime minister, who was unseated as prime minister last week.

Nasrallah said he will not support any government that cooperates with The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a UN-backed court set up to investigate the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  In the coming days, the tribunal prosecutor is expected to hand indictments of Hezbollah members to judges for review.  Hezbollah maintains these indictments are political attacks on the organization, based on lying witnesses.

This comes as the Lebanese parliament prepares for what is expected to be a bitter fight over who will be the next prime minister.  Sa’ad Hariri’s government fell Wednesday when 11 ministers, most from Hezbollah, resigned.  Parties are expected to announce their preferred candidates Monday.  

Lebanon’s two major political coalitions, March 8 and March 14, are deadlocked over the issue of The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which sparked Wednesday’s walk-out.

March 14, which is the ruling party of Sa’ad Hariri, supports the court.  

March 8, the opposition coalition that includes Hezbollah, does not.  Hezbollah, a Shi’ite political party and militia backed by Iran and Syria, says the court’s goal is to discredit the organization, not to find the killers.

Both sides say they will only accept a new government that agrees with them on this issue.  March 14 says Sa’ad Hariri is the only man for prime minister.  March 8 says he is not.  

March 14’s General Secretary Fares Souaid says his coalition does not intend to compromise. "We support three main points.  First, we support the international tribunal.  Second, we support Sa’ad al-Hariri as prime minister.  Third, we support stability and peaceful democracy in Lebanon," he said.

But peace and stability in Lebanon is becoming harder to maintain.  Lebanese journalist and political analyst Hazem Saghieh says even though Hezbollah has called for peaceful change that falls within legal boundaries, it may not be able to contain growing sectarian tensions. "A spontaneous clash might take place in any of Beirut’s streets and might lead to a bigger conflict which is unpredictable now," he said.

Political leaders from all political parties have called for peace on the streets.  Saghieh says that if the parliament decides on Sa’ad Hariri, and government continues to recognize the court, Hezbollah might be forced into a corner.  In 2008, Hezbollah took over West Beirut in a matter of days.  

Volatility in Lebanon has also worried leaders in the region and all over the world.  Leaders from Qatar, Syria and Turkey are expected to meet in Damascus on Monday.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed concern about the increasing chaos in the region, saying that any new peace treaty with Palestine would have to include stronger security measures.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid