[QODLink]
Middle East
Hezbollah pledges unity government
Hassan Nasrallah seeks to calm tensions in Lebanon day before Lebanon begins talks to decide on next prime minister.
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2011 21:25 GMT
Hezbollah ruled out nominating Hariri for reappointment but Hariri has said he will run for a second term [EPA]

Hezbollah has pledged to include its political rivals in Lebanon's next government if its candidate for prime minister wins a parliamentary majority in an upcoming vote.

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, said on Sunday that the Shia group and its allies want to form a national unity government, rather than seeking to govern alone.

Nasrallah made the comments in a brief televised speech from an undisclosed location, a day before talks begin in Lebanon to pick a new prime minister.

"If our candidate is successful, we will ask him to form a government of national partnership in which all parties will participate. We respect everyone's right to representation," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah appeared to be trying to calm tensions in Lebanon, where a rift between his group and a Western-backed bloc led by the caretaker prime minister, Saad Hariri, is deepening.

Tight vote

Hezbollah and its allies have ruled out nominating Hariri for reappointment. However, Hariri has said he will nonetheless run for a second term.

The vote is expected to be tight, and experts estimated the country's 128 parliamentarians were equally divided between Hariri and Hezbollah's candidate.

Walid Jumblatt, Lebanon's Druze leader, who announced on Friday that he was siding with Hezbollah in the political feud, now stands to play kingmaker with his 11-member strong bloc.

Hariri's government collapsed on January 12 when Hezbollah and its allies pulled 11 ministers from the cabinet in a dispute over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is probing the 2005 murder of Saad's father and the country’s former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri.

Nasrallah, who has accused the Netherlands-based tribunal of being under US-Israeli control, has said he expects it will implicate Hezbollah members and warned of grave repercussions.

Many fear Hezbollah will react violently if its members are indicted, as is widely expected.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list