Report: Geagea Could be Mulling New Presidential Nominee

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea could be mulling the possibility of nominating a new candidate for the presidency other than founder of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun, although a senior source at the party assured otherwise, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.

The daily related to Geagea's interview to the Saudi al-Riyadh newspaper where he pointed out and said: “We are looking for a solution to the current crisis, not that because we support Aoun, but because we want to push forward the Lebanese institutions.”

Geagea added that “any breakthrough at the presidential level, no matter who the candidate is, would be better because there is nothing worse than the vacuum and its consequences.”

Political observers said that LF's comments “no matter who the candidate is” can be interpreted as a regress in his commitment to nominate Aoun, and a willingness to accept other candidates for the post, according to the daily.

However, a senior LF source downplayed the suppositions and assured that the “party supports Aoun. The issue is not linked to the person alone but to the presidency as an institution. The primary given that imposes itself here is that Aoun garners Hizbullah's support, although the party is still maneuvering in the presidential file, and on the other hand he enjoys the support of the LF.”

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of President Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014.

Hizbullah, MP Michel Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Geagea withdrew his own candidacy and endorsed Aoun for the post.

Hariri, who is close to Saudi Arabia, launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.

The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid argue that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.

Source: Naharnet

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