Jumblat: Aoun, Geagea Challenging the Lebanese, Weakening the Presidencyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat stressed on Wednesday that Lebanon cannot have a confrontational presidential nominee, urging an agreement on a consensual candidate to end the deadlock in the country's top post.
"I don't see an end to the (presidential) crisis because both nominees are confrontational. They have to understand that neither of them can be a confrontational candidate,” Jumblat said in an interview on Al-Jazeera television on Wednesday evening.
Jumblat was referring to March 8's candidate Free Patriotic Movement head MP Michel Aoun and to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, whose candidacy is endorsed by the March 14 coalition.
He elaborated: “We have to build on the Baabda Declaration of (former) President Michel Suleiman...I proposed the nomination of (Democratic Gathering MP) Henri Helou but they said 'who is Walid Jumblat to come forward with a Christian candidate,' although the president must be a nominee of all the Lebanese.”
"Until this moment I am faced with rejection,” he noted.
Jumblat said the presidential impasse is a local crisis, but remarked that some factions banked on regional developments.
"Some have banked on foreign factors and Hizbullah, for example, thought that things will end quickly in Syria but has reached a dead-end. Others banked on the (Syrian) regime's fall and this did not happen as (Syrian President) Bashar (Assad) has destroyed Syria,” he explained.
In a related matter, Jumblat called on Hizbullah and others to “withdraw from the Syrian swamp” and urged strengthening the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Also on the Syrian crisis, Jumblat said the neighboring country's regime possesses the capacity to create chaos in Lebanon, like carrying out assassinations or planting bomb-laden cars.
"But the main factor is Iran and I do not understand the support for Assad or for (Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri) al-Maliki. (Iran) supported two hated figures. This policy has led to the fragmentation of Syria and of Iraq.”
He said: “Iranians thought Maliki can rule differently from (Iraqi powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada) al-Sadr, (leader Ammar) al-Hakim and (Grand Ayatollah Ali) al-Sistani... (Iranians) supported, along with Russia, the Assad regime until the end against terrorism.”
The Druze leader said Assad is playing a “malicious game... just like (the extremist jihadist groups of) Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
He also pointed out that U.S. President Barack Obama and all “Syria's friends” have let the country down by not providing anti-rocket missiles to the Syrian opposition.