Geagea Says Not Holding Onto Presidency, to Open Door to Other Candidates to End Deadlockإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea reiterated readiness to withdraw his candidacy from the presidency in favor of another March 14 candidate, expressing belief that Thursday's parliamentary session will be similar to its predecessors.
“I am not holding onto anything personal at all,” Geagea said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Tuesday.
He pointed out that Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel and Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb could run for the presidency on behalf of the March 14 alliance instead of him.
However, he noted that the March 8 coalition is engaged in a “mysterious and unclear game,” voicing hope that the alliance's lawmakers would attend Thursday's parliamentary session, which is the fifth round of presidential elections.
Geagea expressed pessimism over Hizbullah's rejection to conduct dialogue and seek any possible solution to the presidential deadlock.
“I am certain that Thursday's session will not lead to any new developments,” the LF leader said.
Parliament has so far failed to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.
Most of the March 8 camp's MPs have boycotted four rounds of elections over their call for an agreement on a consensual president and their rejection of the candidacy of Geagea, whose nomination was officially endorsed by the March 14 camp.
A fifth round of polls is scheduled to be held Thursday before the expiry of President Michel Suleiman's six-year tenure.
Geagea rejected to succumb to a formula that says either we support (Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel) Aoun or deal with vacuum.
“Vacuum could last a month or more,” the Christian leader warmed, regretting that the Lebanese failed to seize the opportunity to elect a “made in Lebanon” president.
There are fears that the vacuum in the country's top Christian post would affect Lebanon's power-sharing agreement under which the president should be a Maronite, the premier a Sunni and the speaker a Shiite.
Asked about the rapprochement between al-Mustaqbal leader Saad Hariri and Aoun, the March 14 official wondered “if an agreement existed then what is holding back the election of a president.”
Aoun had been repeatedly claiming that he would not announce his candidacy against his rival Geagea if there was no consensus on him.
Geagea landed in France last week to meet with Hariri in his first stop on a tour to Arab and European countries, that is expected to include Saudi Arabia.
He said in a press conference on Monday that his Paris talks with Hariri tackled Aoun's presidential nomination and the fact that the FPM leader has proposed himself as a “consensual” candidate.
“Kick starting contacts with the FPM is a good thing, but until the moment General Aoun is not a consensual candidate.”