Nytt

Den kristne patriarken av Libanon, Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, sier valget søndag kan bety være eller ikke være for landet. Han sikter åpenbart til om Hizbollah vinner valget. Det avhenger av den kristne blokken, som er splittet. Michel Aoun inngikk allianse med Hizbollah for tre år siden.

The influential Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, who has already warned of «mistakes» were the Islamist group and its allies to win the election, spoke of «a threat to the Lebanese entity and its Arab identity.» His remarks were reported by the National News Agency.

Sfeir, 89, has a stormy relationship with Hezbollah’s main Christian ally, Michel Aoun, who currently heads the largest Christian bloc in Lebanon’s 128-seat parliament. Seats in the chamber are divided according to sectarian quotas.

How Aoun and his Christian rivals fare in the parliamentary election on Sunday will decide whether the U.S.-backed «March 14» alliance, led by Sunni politician Saad al-Hariri, retains its majority or loses to the Shi’ite Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria, and its allies.

Many politicians expect the election to result in a coalition government, regardless of the outcome.

Sfeir has previously echoed March 14 calls for a state monopoly on weapons — a challenge to the heavily armed Hezbollah.
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«We must be alert to the schemes being plotted for us and thwart the intense efforts which, if they succeed, will change the face of our country,» Sfeir said.

REGIONAL DETENTE

In February, al-Masira magazine quoted the patriarch as saying victory for the pro-Syria alliance would lead to «mistakes … with a historic impact on the nation’s fate.»

Hezbollah’s Christian opponents also include Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces party and the Phalange party led by former president Amin Gemayel. Both have attacked Aoun for the alliance he struck with Hezbollah three years ago and his rapprochement with neighboring Syria.

Lebanon patriarch opposes Hezbollah on eve of vote