MP Michel Mouawad urged lawmakers to back his bid for the presidency, denouncing Hezbollah‘s “stranglehold” on the crisis-hit country.
Lebanese MPs have been unable to elect a successor to President Michel Aoun whose term ends next week, stoking fears of a political crisis that would further compound three years of economic meltdown.
“I am practically the only serious candidate running for the presidency,” Mouawad told AFP in an interview, adding that he had “support from a large majority of the opposition”.
Mouawad, 50, is the presidential candidate who received the largest backing in Lebanon’s divided parliament, mostly from lawmakers opposed to the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah.
But he is still far from securing the number of votes needed to snatch the position.
He said that “Hezbollah’s stranglehold” on Lebanon has pushed the country further into “Iran’s sphere of influence”, and accused the group of trying to impose a candidate who abides by its rules.
Hezbollah has slammed Mouawad’s close ties to the United States and urged political parties to vote for a consensual candidate.