Hezbollah says it 'won't allow' election of president 'dependent' on US

The Lebanese parliament failed to elect a president Thursday, with a majority (63) MPs casting blank ballots.

Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Amal Movement carry flags while riding in a convoy as votes are being counted in Lebanon's parliamentary election, in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon May 15, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/ISSAM ABDALLAH)
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Amal Movement carry flags while riding in a convoy as votes are being counted in Lebanon's parliamentary election, in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon May 15, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ISSAM ABDALLAH)

The head of Hezbollah's executive council, Hashem Safi al-Din, warned Wednesday that the terrorist movement would not allow the election of a Lebanese president who is "dependent" on the US, according to Al-Manar.

Din stated some Lebanese "make the mistake of seeking to secure America's interests" in elections or the plan to bring Lebanon out of its current crisis. The Hezbollah official warned that Hezbollah "will not allow and will not accept" the election of a Lebanese president who will follow and depend on the US.

The statement comes just hours after the Lebanese parliament failed to elect a president, with a majority (63) MPs casting blank ballots.

Michel Moawad, an independent Lebanese politician opposed to Hezbollah, received the largest number of votes (36), followed by Salim Eddeh who received 11 votes.

Moawad is the son of former Lebanese president Rene Moawad, who was killed in November 1989 just a few weeks after taking office. According to Lebanese newspaper L'Orient Le Jour, he has strong ties with the US and has hosted a number of US officials in Lebanon, including then US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in March 2019.

 Lebanese MPs Michel Moawad and Sami Gemayel gesture upon arrival to attend the first session to elect a new president, outside the parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon September 29, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR) Lebanese MPs Michel Moawad and Sami Gemayel gesture upon arrival to attend the first session to elect a new president, outside the parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon September 29, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)

It is unclear if Din was referring to Moawad when he mentioned a candidate who "follows the US." The murder of Moawad's father was largely blamed on Syria.

Next vote won't take place until consensus is reached

House Speaker, Nabih Berri, stated after the vote that he would not convene another voting session until there is consensus on a candidate. "When I sense consensus, I will call for a session immediately; if not, we’ll decide on matters in due time," said Berri, according to Lebanon's National News Agency.

According to unwritten agreements which have decided the structure of Lebanon's government for decades, the president must be a Maronite Christian.

The term of Lebanese President Michel Aoun ends on October 31. It is unclear what will happen if a new president is not elected by then.