Naharnet

Jumblat: Seychelles Proposal Result of Immature Conditions for Presidential Polls

Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat has mocked the failure to elect a new president by proposing to move the national dialogue from Beirut to the islands of Seychelles.

In remarks to As Safir daily published on Wednesday, Jumblat said he made the proposal to insist that “the conditions are not yet ripe for the election of a president.”

“We should wait,” he said.

Baabda Palace has been vacant since the term of President Michel Suleiman ended in May last year.

Jumblat's remarks came a day after he attended a meeting on the sidelines of the national dialogue at parliament that brought together Speaker Nabih Berri, Premier Tammam Salam, Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun, al-Mustaqbal bloc leader lawmaker Fouad Saniora and the head of Hizbullah's bloc MP Mohammed Raad.

The meeting sought to revive the work of the government which has been paralyzed over its working mechanism and military promotions.

However, the top officials failed to reach a deal on the promotions, a key demand of Aoun, who wants to keep Commando Regiment chief Chamel Roukoz in the military and make him eligible to become army commander.

Roukoz is Aoun's son-in-law.

High-ranking sources said that Saniora rejected the promotions from Brig. Gen. to Maj. Gen., saying they would harm the military institution’s structure.

But in remarks to As Safir, the MP denied his responsibility for the obstruction of the deal.

Progress has been made in the talks but have not yet reached the expected results, said Saniora.

G.K.

D.A.


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