Newly appointed Lebanese University President Adnan as-Sayyed Hussein said on Thursday that “he was appointed because of his competence.”
“Everything gets politicized in Lebanon, and it is normal that [critics] find something to accuse me of,” Sayyed Hussein told MTV television.
Sayyed Hussein also refused statements saying that he was appointed as the Lebanese University president “as a reward for his resignation from the government of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.”
The ministers who represent MP Walid Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party were reticent regarding the appointment of Sayyed Hussein.
An-Nahar newspaper’s Thursday edition reported that PSP ministers “were reserved about the issue, because there were political [motives] behind the appointment.”
Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi also said that Sayyed Hussein only speaks Arabic while one of the other candidates for the Lebanese University presidency speaks three languages.
Sayyed Hussein, a Shia, was part of President Michel Sleiman’s cabinet share when Saad Hariri served as the country’s premier.
However, the then-minister resigned along with the Hezbollah-led March 8 ministers in January, forcing the collapse of Hariri’s government over a long-running dispute concerning the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
The UN-backed tribunal indicted Hezbollah members for the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri.
Najib Mikati was then appointed as new premier after his nomination by the March 8 parties.