Hezbollah lobbies for status quo

April 1, 2013 at 9:29 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 1 (UPI) -- Lebanon needs a government that recognizes the importance of national unity and the spirit of the resistance, a Hezbollah leader said Monday.

Political infighting prompted Najib Mikati to resign as prime minister last month. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called on lawmakers to come forward by Friday with a candidate for prime minister to form a new government.

Mikati is from the March 8 coalition, which includes Hezbollah politicians. Hezbollah deputy Nabil Qaouq said a steady course was needed in a country under pressure from the Syrian civil war.

"(Opposition) illusions and external commitment made them bet on changes in the equation," Qaouq was quoted by The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon as saying. "We need a new government that does not backstab the resistance, incite discord or put a dagger in Syria's waist."

Hezbollah is a steadfast ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Political conflicts in Lebanon have centered on Hezbollah's weapons, which supporters say are needed for Israeli deterrence.

The Hezbollah leader accused lawmakers from the March 14 coalition of standing in the way of political development.

"They don't want a new election law that does not give them a majority," he said. "They forgot that Lebanon cannot afford a government that is hostile to the resistance."

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