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Hezbollah evasive on presidential candidates

Although Hezbollah has yet to name its preferred candidate for the Lebanese presidency, there are a number of requirements that a potential candidate must meet to gain the party’s endorsement.
Hezbollah supporters stand in front of a giant banner of their leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as they listen to his speech, in Aineta village, in south Lebanon March 29, 2014. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday called for domestic support for his militants after a year of growing sectarian violence in Lebanon following the Shi'ite militant group's intervention in the Syrian war. REUTERS/ Sharif Karim (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3J41G
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Has Hezbollah adopted a strategy of constructive ambiguity toward the presidential elections in Lebanon? Resorting to general and vague expressions that can be interpreted in multiple ways would allow it to maintain its distance from certain positions when necessary. Such an approach would also free it from obligations that could be imposed by these positions, giving it more room to maneuver.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah announced that his party has a preferred candidate for the presidency, but he did not reveal his name. Meanwhile, members of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc and its allies cast blank ballots during the first session held to elect a president, on April 23. There were two candidates: Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanese Forces Party and the candidate of the March 14 coalition, and Henry Helou, candidate for the Democratic Gathering bloc, led by member of parliament (MP) Walid Jumblatt. Since both men failed to obtain the two-third majority (86 votes) needed to win, a second session had to be held. This required a quorum of two-thirds and a candidate receiving the support of half of all parliamentarians plus one, that is, 65 votes, to win.

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