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Lebanon-Hizbullah.

--Hizbullah Renews Nasrallah as Head of Shiite Party; Forms A New Shura Council

After months of deliberations, Hizbullah announced Thursday it has renewed the mandate of its Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah for a fourth consecutive term and named the members of its Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council)--the party's highest governing body. Hizbullah concluded its seventh congress at a time of heightened political sensitivity in Lebanon, namely national reconciliation and consensus, and regional power struggles topped by the security conflicts between the resistance and Israel, leftist daily AS SAFIR said Friday. The daily added that Nasrallah's confirmation reinforces the trust in the leadership that allowed the resistance to achieve an historic triumph over Israel during the "33-day war" that pitted Hizbullah against Israel in July 2006 and which was ended by UN Security Resolution 1701.

The announcement comes after 3-4 months of internal deliberations on political and organizational matters, performed by thousands of Hizbullah top and mid-level cadres who were not impeded by local, regional and international crises, the daily said. The influential daily AN NAHAR, for its part, quoted Hizbullah sources as saying that "the congress' announcements are a clear indication of the party's unity and stability in the face of repeated attempts to undermine it." The election of Hizbullah's seven-member leadership is usually held every three years and was last conducted in 2004. Nasrallah has been at the helm since the 1992 assassination of his predecessor Sayyed Abbas al-Musawi. He was killed, along with his wife and son, in an Israeli helicopter strike.

MP Mohammad Raad's re-election to the Shura Council, reconfirms his historic role as head of Hizbullah's bloc in Parliament, especially after being the key political and public relations figure in the period immediately following the July 2006 War, when Nasrallah was absent from the scene, AS SAFIR said. Outside of its political significance, the Hizbullah announcement includes an agenda of programs for reform that the party plans on tackling, namely political, social, economic, administrative and judicial issues, in addition to political sectarianism, the daily said.

Hizbullah has also re-elected Naim Kassem as Nasrallah's deputy, a post he has held since 1991, AS SAFIR reported. As for the remaining Shura Council members, they are Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek as head of the council, Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed as head of the political council, Hashem Saffieddine as head of the executive council, Hajj Hussein Khalil as political assistant to the secretary general, and MP Mohammad Raad as head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc. Hizbullah has two cabinet ministers and holds 11 of Parliament's 128 seats.
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Title Annotation:Today's News Highlights
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Nov 20, 2009
Words:428
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