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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech Announcing the Names of Hezbollah Candidates for the 2018 Parliamentary Elections

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Hezbollah Secretary-General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced on Monday evening the names of Hezbollah's candidates for the parliamentary elections. His Eminence said in a televised speech:

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets Abi Al-Qasim Muhammad Bin Abdullah, and his good and pure family and all his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers. Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.

My speech today is devoted exclusively to the topic of nominations.

First, I will announce the names of those who belong to Hezbollah. I will announce the names of Hezbollah candidates who are cadres and officials in the party. Therefore, I will not talk tonight about allies and friends or the candidates of friends that we will support in the elections. This will be announced, God willing, when the lists are unveiled in the constituencies. Upon their formation the lists will include this person, that person, this person, friends, independents, and some figures from parties. Therefor tonight it is all about the candidates of Hezbollah cadres who belong to the party in particular.

Another topic concerns the main points that Hezbollah will work on through its deputies in the parliament, through its presence in the government, and its general presence during the next four years. This can be referred to as the electoral program. I will leave it for another time, God willing. From now until election day, I will speak on more than one occasion and in more than one event and explain these things fragmentally and in detail, God willing.

Thus, today's topic is limited to this.

The other thing is the rationale that people have the right to ask about. Therefore, we have the responsibility to explain and be clear and transparent. Hence, this speech now is as much for the public as it is for the youth of Hezbollah including brothers and sisters and Hezbollah bases because we have not officially announced it internally before announcing it through the public platform, which is now at your service.

We took into account the following observations and issues:

First, we have evaluated our past experience and noticed that our ministers have always been lawmakers as well. Hence, the ministry itself entails a heavy responsibility and burden. Certainly, he will be a responsible and serious minister who is present, not a minister in his ministry, but also a member of the cabinet. He must see all lists, schedules and all papers. This is a heavy responsibility. The deputyship itself is also a heavy responsibility. Recently it was revealed that we have burdened our brothers. We demanded extra energy from the two current ministers, who are also deputies in their regions.

Therefore, apart from the debate in the country, which has to do with separating between the different authorities - not from the current angle which involves the distribution of responsibilities - we preferred to conduct the following experiment for the coming mandate. I am not saying this is a final decision. For the next four years, we will separate ministerial posts from the deputyship. Some brothers will assume deputyship rolls and others will assume ministerial posts.

Thank God Almighty, He blessed us with the best and most competent brothers and cadres, so why put the weight on one brother and make him bear multiple responsibilities, especially responsibilities of this kind.

Based on this, I can say that the first point is that we have decided to separate ministerial posts from the deputyship at the level of Hezbollah officials and for them to have this responsibility for a full term. Now, after four years, whoever stays alive - may God prolong the ages of all - the brothers will re-evaluate and see this experiment and decide whether they carry on with it or reconsider it. It becomes performance based.

Based on the first thing, we in the leadership of Hezbollah agreed that, God willing, one of our ministers in the next government will be brother MP, Hajj Mohammad Fneish (may God protect him), God willing. Therefore, he will not be among the candidates for the deputyship in this term because he will be assigned to ministerial work.

With each item, I will thank some of the brothers. Therefore, I thank him for his efforts in the deputyship field and for his general efforts, but especially for his recent deputyship efforts.

The second thing is that some of the brothers through the past experience, especially that the past terms were long, asked not to be nominated for a new mandate because of their personal and security circumstances. Naturally according to the Lebanese tradition, deputyship work is not only a process of being present in the cabinet and parliamentary committees. If that was the case, one could arrange his security and personal circumstances according to political engagements. But it requires a very broad and active movement among the people and attendance at events and public places as well as a movement towards ministries for services.
Through their experience, some brothers found that this may not be suitable with their personal and security circumstances. Therefore, they asked not to be nominated for the new term, for example brother Sayyed Abu Hisham, Sayyed Hussein al-Moussawi, may God keep him safe. They preferred to return to work in Hezbollah's leadership. On behalf of Hezbollah's leadership, I would also like to thank Sayyed Abu Hisham, Sayyed Hussein al-Moussawi, for his public efforts - of course, he was among the founding brothers of Hezbollah - especially for his recent efforts.

The third thing: According to the understanding between the Amal Movement and Hezbollah on the candidacies in districts, these arrangements will naturally reach some districts including Baabda, where the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc/Hezbollah had two deputies in accordance with the distribution. The Amal Movement will nominate a name for the deputyship seat there as Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri did today. And Hezbollah will nominate a name for the other seat.

Based on this understanding and measure, brother Dr. Bilal Farhat, who was a deputy recently for one of these seats belonging to the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc and Hezbollah, will not be present in the next stage. And I would also like to thank him very much for his efforts during the previous stage.

The fourth thing: During our search for alternatives especially in the new constituencies where our brothers will be nominated, we have studied in depth the idea of using and getting help from some former Hezbollah MPs because, of course, they are competent and suitable. But in order to give new opportunities and present new faces and a new experience by new cadres and officials in Hezbollah on the one hand, and since all the brothers and former deputies bearing responsibilities are in key organizational positions in the party on the other, we preferred to go to the new faces and new options.

The fourth point must also be explained briefly now. Later, if explaining was necessary, God willing, we will explain. Parliamentary elections differ from the municipal elections. In the municipal elections, you have to choose the mayor, the deputy mayor, and the members of the municipal council from the same town or city. Now, is this wrong or right, of course. But the reality is that it will represent the families, their size and composition and the likes, since the municipality is the municipal, social, developmental framework, etc. Sometimes, as you know, even in our experiences in the municipal elections and that of others, family considerations and representation takes over. They even surpass competency. That is the mayor must be from the largest family even if he is not competent, for example, and the municipality pays 6 years as a price for these considerations. Now in the municipalities "we let it pass."

The parliamentary elections are primarily of political nature. It is true that the MP represents his constituency and region, but after he is elected he represents the Lebanese people, and his responsibility is at the national level. He is a part of the political movement, political battle and political conflict at the level of the nation and the region. That is why, in nominations like the rest of the political forces, we and others on this subject also take into account the same considerations. We consider that for our bases, our people and our public, the party, Hezbollah, for example, Hezbollah represents them. Now, Hezbollah wants to send deputies to the cabinet. So it chooses from its officials and cadres who it deems fit and efficient to assume this responsibility and representation. Thus, the real equation when we nominate is that we consider that we represent you and choose who represents us to be your voice and ours and holds the responsibility in the cabinet as it was during all the previous mandates. So, when we choose from the heart of the district, we are not bound by a certain town, for it to be said why are some people chosen from this town and not that?

The range is the range of people and not the range of towns cities because of the elections and the electronic armies. I will talk about them soon. A lot of questions will be asked. Why from this city and not from that? Why from this town and not from that? Why from this family and not from that? Why from this tribe and not from that? We choose these brothers because they represent Hezbollah. We say: ‘We offer ourselves as your representatives if you accept us, and if you agreed for us to represent you.' These are the real rationales. In choosing the people, of course, the basis - if possible and better and without discussion - is to choose from inside the electoral district. But sometimes as it happens with us or with some political forces, and you have even seen the nominations at noon today, in some districts and for some political and electoral interests related to the district itself or related to the political force concerned with the nomination, one might choose to nominate persons outside of the district itself -even if those people had support, presence, effectiveness, respect and appreciation in that district.

This is the basic rationale from which we proceed to nominate persons.

One last thing before announcing the names. I do not want to take too long tonight. There is one last thing I want to point to. I want to talk about tonight and not on another occasion because it is suitable with the announcement of the names. Everyone knows that we have been subject to a campaign for years. But recently this campaign has intensified. Over the past years, millions of dollars have been spent to tarnish the reputation of Hezbollah and distort its image. When we say distort the image of Hezbollah and its reputation, they are not only talking about the party - Hezbollah did so, Hezbollah said so - but also talking about persons, leadership, figures, officials and cadres. This was happening and is taking place every day. It happened to some brother a couple of days ago. There was an attempt to circulate rumors about Hezbollha's leadership, cadres and figures of being involved in money laundering, theft, and drug smuggling. These are a few in a long list of the lies and rumors. During the past period, sometimes we used to turn a deaf ear to it. In other times, it was confronted. Anyway, now after the elections as we head to the electoral battle, the "Israeli" electronic army and electronic army in some gulf states, there are armies. There are people and employees getting paid and dedicated. They give the instruction and these electronic armies attack. You might think that there is public opinion. There is no public opinion. There are names and sites that are managed by states, governments, and certain forces with central funding. The battle today is open in the entire world. This is America and its material might. Until now, they are still stuck in the story of the Russian intervention in the US presidential elections and that the Russians entered sites, leaked information and rumors, as well as composed and fabricated films, etc. America with its huge apparatus is still stuck in this file. It is normal for us to speculate and expect that from tonight and onwards we will witness a certain electronic attack on these names and an attempt to defame and accuse people.

I liked to raise this point and refer to it to say: First, the people's role as well as the role of the brothers and sisters in this matter, is {if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate}. We do not claim at all that we offer the infallible to the people. We are neither infallible nor do we offer infallible candidates. But we claim to have studied our files and our people very well, the announced and unannounced. We have studies, searched, asked and verified. Although they are our brothers, and we have known them for thirty and forty years, as we know some of them, yet, we sought to be precise and careful, as we also know ourselves that we are going to a sensitive confrontation of this level and size.

Therefore, these brothers are certainly our confidence. They are the confidence of the leadership of Hezbollah. We put our dependence and confidence on them. We find them fit, qualified and reliable to assume this responsibility. But we do not offer infallible people or perfect people.

Perfect people are very few, and the infallible people are known to you. But in any case, in the face of the attack that is expected to happen at any place, I say, investigate. You cannot take people for the candidates or for the other candidates. There will be a stream of accusations and rumors that will affect all candidates in the framework of the electoral competition. We consider that spreading rumors of corruption and accusations even to our competitors and accusing them of what they are not or are not including the moral warnings, is forbidden that is not justified by the elections at all. As for what concerns our base, people and supporters, I wanted to draw this remark for them to fortify themselves as this will be one of the major elements in the current and future electoral battle.

Regarding the candidates, we start from the Baalbek/Hermel region which is called the Third Beqaa District: brother Dr. Hussein Hajj Hassan, brother Dr. Ali Mekdad, brother Dr. Ibrahim Ali Al Moussawi, and brother Dr. Ihab Erwa Hamada.

Of course in this context, I would also like to thank and give our appreciation to brother MP and lawyer Nawar al-Sahili who has worked with us for many years in this district for his blessed efforts.

Zahle District that is called the First Bekaa District: Brother Anwar Hussein Jomaa.
Baabda District which is called the Third District of Mount Lebanon: Brother Hajj Ali Ammar.

Jbeil/ keserwan District: Brother Sheikh Hussein Mohammad Zeaiter.

Beirut's Secod District: Brother Hajj Amin Sherri. Of course Hajj Amin Sherri is not included in topic I spoke about regarding the former deputies. We have named replacements for the former deputies. Last time, we did not name a replacement for Hajj Amin. We pulled him from the Beirut nomination as a result of the understanding between us and our brothers in Amal Movement. This means, it is still included as one of the criteria I spoke about at the beginning.

The Third District of the South: Nabatiyeh/ Bent Jbeil/ Marjaayoun/ Hasbaya: Brother Hajj Mohammad Raad, Brother Hassan Fadlallah, Brother Dr. Ali Fayyad.
The Second District of the South: Tyre/al-Zahrani: Brother Nawaf al-Moussawi and Brother Hussein Said Jechi.

These brothers are our brothers, our officials, our cadres, and our youth. We have known them since the beginning of this path - for decades - and we chose them only based on efficiency, qualification and suitability with the responsibility. Of course, there are many figures in Hezbollah, including officials, cadres and leaders who are fit. But in the end, we want to choose this number. And we want to distribute ourselves. We cannot all become deputies and ministers. Hezbollah has great responsibilities and bears great burdens in its political, organizational, civil, cultural and media structures, and we must be present in all these areas, God willing.

I hope that these brothers will gain your trust and approval. God willing, in future meetings we will talk about the parliamentary elections, the alliances, the other candidacies, the formation of the lists, the electoral program, and the objectives that we must work together for in the coming years of the parliament's term.
Good luck, in God's will. I thank you. And peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations, Translated by website team

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