Naharnet

Report: Geagea Says Aoun's Chances for Presidency 'Fading'

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea acknowledged that chances of getting founder of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun to the presidential post have almost faded, media reports said on Saturday.

“The possibilities for MP Michel Aoun to become a president are almost non-existent,” Geagea was quoted as saying.

His comments came during a meeting with a delegation of mayors from the Keserwan area that visited the LF leader a few days ago.

The reports surfaced after a meeting was held between Geagea and the adviser of al-Mustaqbal Movement chief ex-MP Ghattas Khoury.

Khoury was dispatched by ex-PM and Mustaqbal chief Saad Hariri to meet Geagea early this week and the discussions focused on finding a way to record a breakthrough in the file of the presidency.

Unnamed sources quoted senior Mustaqbal figures and said: “Crazy are those who believe that Saudi Arabia will give the green light for the election of, the ally of Iran's ally, as a president at a time when the dispute is raging between the two regional powers.”

Meanwhile, LF sources said that Geagea had pointed out that “currently there is a difficulty to elect Aoun as president because Hizbullah does not want a president.” Therefore Geagea tried to persuade Khoury into forming a trio panel that includes Aoun, Hariri and himself to convince Hizbullah into the election of Aoun.

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

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.


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