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Hezbollah Leader Offers Two Ways to Solve Political Crisis
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Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech broadcasted on Sunday, offered two alternatives to resolve Lebanon's political catastrophe -- the resignation of the current government or early parliamentary elections.

"There are two solutions (to resolve the crisis) -- either the resignation of the government or early parliamentary elections," Nasrallah told a huge gathering of Hezbollah supporters, Hezbollah's Al Manar TV reported Sunday.

Lebanon's crippling political impasse was aggravated after the resignation of six pro-Syrian cabinet ministers, including two from Hezbollah, earlier this month.

Hezbollah and its allies are demanding a greater say in the government, which has been dominated by an anti-Syrian coalition headed by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora since elections last year.

During the speech, Nasrallah accused the United States of "dictating" the anti-Syrian ruling majority.

"We cannot have any confidence in this government because it answers to the decisions and wishes of the American administration," he said, adding, "We will not allow you to continue ruling this country."

"We want a national unity government in which all political sects take part and block external dictations ... and you will find out that we will not differ with you over primary issues," he added.

In addition, Nasrallah called on all anti-Syrian opposition factions, including Hezbollah and General Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, to be "psychologically prepared" for street protests.

"We have to be psychologically prepared to take to the streets because we may send for you 24 hours ahead or 12 hours or even 6 hours (in advance)," Nasrallah said.

He underlined that the opposition would be a peaceful and civilized one, saying, "We don't want riots. We don't want to clash or confront with others ... we want to respect private and public properties."

On Saturday, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said in a statement that he no longer recognized the current government after the resignation of six ministers.

"The current government no longer represents all the Lebanese people," the statement issued from presidential office quoted Lahoud as saying when he met a delegation from the Lebanese National League.

"I promise you that Lebanon will witness the formation of a national government no matter what the cost," he added.

Lahoud' remarks came two days after he announced the cabinet's approval of a UN draft to form an international tribunal on ex-premier Rafik Hariri's assassination was invalid.

The government, headed by Premier Fouad Seniora, adopted on Monday the international tribunal draft despite the absence of six pro-Syrian ministers.

On Nov. 11, five Shiite ministers resigned from the cabinet, a move explained by both Hezbollah and Amal as a first step to push for the formation of a national unity government.

Environment Minister Yaacoub Sarraf, a Christian considered close to Lahoud, also resigned on Nov. 13.

(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2006)

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