Marada leader MP Sulieman Franjieh said Wednesday that he was in regular contact with Syrian President Bashar Assad and that he backed Hezbollah’s actions in Lebanon’s neighbor.
“Contact with Assad is weekly and ongoing and his morale has been high ever since the crisis began. He always boosts our morale rather than us having to boost his,” Franjieh said during a speech to students from the Lebanese University in Hadath.
Franjieh, a key figure in the March 8 coalition and an outspoken supporter of Assad, also voiced support for Hezbollah’s actions in Syria, particularly in the border town of Qusair in Homs province.
“We are with the resistance choice, particularly in Syria and Qusair,” he said.
He described Hezbollah’s involvement in the battles in Qusair as part of “a comprehensive project of the resistance.”
The Marada leader also said his alliance with both Hezbollah and Assad remains firm and that he is willing to “pay the price for his choices.”
“Our ties with Assad are similar to our ties with the resistance, except that the resistance is Lebanese,” said Franjieh. “I affirm that in these circumstances that I am always with resistance, today, yesterday, a year or even hundred years from now, because this is a strategic choice I have made and not a temporary one to serve interim interests,” he added.
On the impasse over a new electoral law, Franjieh called for a deal on a voting system for the upcoming parliamentary elections and said a technical delay would help give rival MPs time to reach consensus.
“Politicians should think of Lebanon’s interests and agree on a new law for the elections,” said Franjieh.
“The situation of the country can withstand some delay in the elections in order to give us the chance to reach a new electoral law,” he added.
Franjieh described the controversial Orthodox Gathering law as a “cry by Christians” for their political rights.
“The Orthodox draft law divides the country into isolated sects and before being a law, it is a cry by Christians to call for their lost rights,” he said.
The Marada leader also said that candidates from his bloc would only file requests to run for the elections under the 1960 law if his allies in the March 8 coalition, Hezbollah and Amal Movement, did so.
“We will only submit requests to run for the elections under the 1960 law a day after Hezbollah and Amal lawmakers submit their requests,” he said.
Political rivals failed to agree on a new vote law for the upcoming elections leaving the country with limited options: either to extend the terms of Parliament or to hold the elections under the 1960 law.