Geagea Blames Iran for Baabda Vacuum

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, a candidate for the country's top Christian post, has accused Iran of causing Lebanon's presidential deadlock.

“Iran is responsible for the obstruction of the presidential elections in Lebanon,” Geagea told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published on Tuesday.

He accused Tehran of using Hizbullah, which “receives orders beyond” Lebanon's “borders,” to thwart the polls.

The interview was carried out after Geagea held talks with Saudi King Salman on Sunday.

The LF chief also met on Monday with al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri in Jeddah.

Baabda Palace has been vacant since President Michel Suleiman's six-year tenure ended in May 2014.

Asked by his interviewer about his latest talks with his rival Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun, Geagea said the meeting ended a 30-year rivalry.

“That would help us turn the page of the past and open a new page,” he said.

“We have made a single political step which is the importance of approving an electoral law,” Geagea told Asharq al-Awsat. “We are working for our agreement to include other clauses although we know that there is a lot of work ahead of us.”

The rivalry between Geagea and Aoun, who is also a presidential candidate, are partly to be blamed for the Baabda vacuum.

On the cabinet crisis, the LF leader said: “The government needs a minimum level of harmony so that (it achieves) consensus” among its members.

“But it is incapable of doing so because it is deformed,” said Geagea, whose party does not have representatives in the cabinet.

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