Nasrallah: Money More Dangerous Than Weapons in Elections, Remarks Saying Hizbullah behind Orthodox Law Insult Christians

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Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday noted that electoral money can influence the outcome of parliamentary elections more than weapons, denying remarks accusing his party of being behind the electoral law proposed by the Orthodox Gathering, under which each sect would elects its representatives.

“Today, the most important topic in Lebanon is the elections and the electoral law. There is a barrage of insults and self-dissociation from debates is necessary,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech marking the birthday of Prophet Mohammed.

“The issue of the elections is sensitive during this period and all Lebanese sects are approaching the electoral law in a sensitive manner due to the current sharp divisions and the events in the region also have an impact,” added Nasrallah.

He noted that “when Christians see what’s happening in Iraq, Nigeria and other places, they have the right to be afraid,” adding that the developments in the region have further complicated the Lebanese situations.

Hizbullah’s leader stressed that “all Lebanese concerns must be addressed and accusations must be put aside.”

“I heard political leaders talking about the Orthodox Gathering proposal and saying that it is Hizbullah’s proposal and this approach towards things is very malicious,” Nasrallah said.

“Remarks that the Orthodox Gathering proposal is Hizbullah’s proposal are absurd and contain an insult against Bkirki and Christians,” he added.

Nasrallah pointed out that his party had voiced reservations when its allies suggested the Orthodox Gathering proposal.

“There are several options and proposals and things must be approached in a scientific manner and the main system we’re looking for is proportional representation,” he announced.

“Proportional representation is the only system that ensures that everyone is represented in parliament,” added Nasrallah.

Hizbullah’s secretary-general said his party will back “any proposal that endorses proportional representation.”

Commenting on the reservations of the rival March 14 camp over a law based on proportional representation, Nasrallah said: “The other camp is saying that the main problem is weapons and they are saying proportional representation cannot be adopted amid the presence of weapons and this is wrong, because the Resistance existed during the 1996 elections and weapons have never been used to impose electoral choices.”

“In which electorate was the influence of weapons employed? Weapons used to impose a certain electoral choice are not the weapons of the Resistance, because all parties have weapons,” Nasrallah noted.

“If weapons can influence the elections, their influence under a winner-takes-all system is greater than their influence under a proportional representation system and remarks about weapons are incorrect,” he went on to say.

“Weapons are not the problem because the more dangerous weapon is money,” he stressed.

“What is more dangerous: money or weapons? What is more dangerous: misleading and unfair media or weapons?” Nasrallah asked rhetorically.

He noted that Christian parties have concerns over political weight, calling on the Lebanese to discuss “a fair and just electoral law and to stop awaiting the outcome of the events in Syria, especially those who were awaiting certain changes to use them against others.”

“All the military, regional and international developments indicate that the dreams of many parties will not come true” concerning the situation in Syria, added Nasrallah.

Turning to the events in the region, Nasrallah said it is not true that what’s happening in the Arab region is a “sectarian conflict.”

“Political objectives that have to do with power and domination were behind all the conflicts and wars that happened, which had nothing to do with religion or with Sunnis and Shiites,” said Nasrallah, adding that “many current conflicts are political and have nothing to do with religions or with Islam and Christianity.”

“We must keep any conflict away from sectarian incitement. We must be cautious and any sectarian rhetoric is a malicious rhetoric that destroys everything,” said Nasrallah, calling for “accord, solutions and dialogue” in Syria, Bahrain, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon.

Commenting on the outcome of Israel’s legislative elections, which resulted in a virtual tie between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing party and the center-left, Nasrallah said “no one must bet on any party in Israel because the Israeli left and right are the same concerning the Arab rights.”

Nasrallah stressed that “Lebanon’s guarantee is the army-people-resistance equation and our national unity is what preserves Lebanon.”

He added that “the most important response to the Israeli elections is the call for further adherence to the Resistance and to cooperate to keep the resistance strong in Palestine and Lebanon.”

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