Suleiman Hopes Successor Would Follow up on his Achievementsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman has promised to follow up on the achievements that he has made during his tenure, including the implementation of the Baabda Declaration, hoping for similar moves by the country's new head of state.
In remarks to An Nahar daily published on Thursday, two days before a ceremony he will hold on the occasion of leaving office, Suleiman regretted that he might not hand over power to the person who will take office after him.
The differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances have prevented the election of the new president over the insistence of the Hizbullah-led team to reach a prior agreement on a consensual candidate.
The majority of the March 8 camp's MPs have been boycotting the parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a president. A similar scenario will take place on the fifth round of the polls on Thursday.
Suleiman told An Nahar that he wanted his successor “to finish what I started,” saying that he would also follow-up the achievements he had made.
He was referring to his defense strategy proposal and the Baabda Declaration, which was announced in 2012 after the March 8 and 14 camps agreed during a national dialogue session to distance Lebanon from the region's crisis.
Suleiman also made reference to the International Support Group for Lebanon and the 3-billion-dollar Saudi grant to the Lebanese army that was announced in December.
The support group, which was inaugurated in New York in September 2013, undertook to work together to mobilize support for the sovereignty and state institutions of Lebanon and to highlight and promote efforts to assist the country.
In his remarks to An Nahar, Suleiman said Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi had backed a proposal to extend his term because he was keen to avoid vacuum in the country's top Christian post.
He also stressed that the “voluntary practice of democracy” had harmed him during his tenure.
“They changed the concept of elections when they said that paralysis is a democratic right,” Suleiman said about the March 8 alliance without naming it.
Suleiman has prepared a speech that he would make during the ceremony on Saturday, a day before he leaves Baabda Palace after the expiry of his six-year term.
Local dailies said the outgoing president intends to stress the political, security and administrative achievements made during his tenure and to express regret that he would not be able to hand over power to his successor.
The ceremony will be attended by politicians and diplomats, including the speaker, the prime minister, cabinet ministers, current and former MPs, in addition to businessman, civil society members and top journalists.