Geagea Says Direct Presidential Elections are Impossible

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea has rejected calls made by the Change and Reform bloc leader, MP Michel Aoun, for direct presidential elections.

The election of a president by the people requires a huge change for the regime and needs calm and deep thinking, Geagea said in an interview with the Qatari al-Watan newspaper published on Thursday.

Such elections also require a Constitutional amendment which is impossible in these circumstances, said Geagea.

The LF chief stressed that he holds onto the Taef Accord, which is irreplaceable.

Aoun, who like Geagea is a presidential candidate, first called for a constitutional amendment that would allow the people to elect their head of state in June last year.

He said the “limited constitutional amendment” would allow Lebanese citizens to elect the president in two rounds to avoid the same scenarios that parliamentary sessions are witnessing.

Parliament has failed to elect a successor to President Michel Suleiman, whose six-year term expired in May last year after the rival March 8 and 14 alliances failed to agree on a compromise candidate.

In the interview, Geagea reiterated that the national dialogue which Speaker Nabih Berri is chairing is a “waste of time.”

Berri chaired the all-party talks in parliament on Wednesday despite the LF's boycott. A second session is set to take place next week.

The talks are aimed at averting a political crisis that stemmed from a trash crisis that has engulfed Beirut and Mount Lebanon.



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