The Lebanese group Hezbollah announced on Sunday that there was no reason to delay legislative elections scheduled for May.
This announcement comes days after former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri retired from public life.
“Everything indicates that the parliamentary elections will take place on time,” said Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy leader of the heavily armed Hezbollah, according to a copy of his speech seen by Reuters.
Hezbollah spokesman Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said Sunday that Hariri’s decision should not be used to call for a postponement of the elections.
The group’s opponents hope to overturn the majority won by Hezbollah and its allies, including President Michel Aoun’s Free Christian Patriotic Movement.
Hezbollah does not expect the election results to be different from those of 2018, Qassem said, dismissing what he described as expectations that parliament would be “upset”.
Opinion polls across Lebanon showed that “the election results will be close to the composition of the current parliament, with slight changes that do not affect the overall composition”, he said, according to Reuters.
“Therefore, we say to those with high hopes, ‘put your feet on the ground,'” said Qassem, whose group is designated as a terrorist organization by countries including the United States.