In response to the statement issued by the United States State Department’s Spokesperson, Matthew Miller, on the one-year anniversary of Lebanon’s Presidential Vacancy, the American Lebanese Policy Institute – Political Action Committee (ALPI-PAC) emphatically addresses crucial points that demand immediate attention.

While we appreciate Mr. Miller’s emphasis on the paramount importance of electing a President of the Republic in Lebanon, we find it imperative to underscore the glaring omissions in his statement. Specifically, Mr. Miller failed to acknowledge the grave challenges posed by Hezbollah and its chief ally, Speaker Nabih Berri, along with their associates, who have relentlessly obstructed the Lebanese Parliament’s democratic process to elect a new President. This obstruction is perpetuated through the orchestrated absence of parliamentary members, which deliberately results in a lack of quorum, thus obstructing the presidential election.

The Hezbollah-backed alliance MPs have, without relent, employed this obstructionist strategy for 12 consecutive sessions. Furthermore, the Speaker of the Parliament has repeatedly and inexplicably failed to convene additional sessions for the election of a President, despite the solemn assurances provided to American interlocutors from the State Department.

While Mr. Miller rightly calls upon Lebanon’s parliamentarians to dutifully elect a President, we must underscore that there are dedicated groups within Lebanon’s Opposition who are tirelessly working to ensure a democratic election of a new President. However, it is crucial to recognize that the ultimate decision rests squarely with Speaker Berri, who wields the authority to convene successive sessions for the election of a President. We urgently and unequivocally implore Mr. Miller to focus his statement specifically on the parties responsible for obstructing the democratic process in Lebanon, rather than making sweeping generalizations. This approach is pivotal in safeguarding Lebanon’s interests and advancing democracy and accountability within the nation.

For more than a decade, Hezbollah has relentlessly held Lebanon and its citizens hostage, pursuing its own domestic, regional, and international agendas at the cost of Lebanon’s security, safety, and prosperity.

It is of paramount importance that the U.S. and its allies draw a clear distinction between the parties and entities within the Lebanese opposition that are actively working to rescue Lebanon and those who have adopted Hezbollah’s malevolent plan, which seeks to transform Lebanon into yet another Iranian satellite state, serving the interests of the IRGC and the Iranian Regime.

Given the ever-evolving developments in the Middle East, Lebanon finds itself in dire need of a new President and a functioning government that can address the nation’s urgent security and economic imperatives and steer the country out of its complex and multifaceted crises.