Aoun: Extension Aimed to Stop a Change in Parliamentary Majority

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Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun said the extension of parliament’s mandate until June 2017 was aimed at preventing a change in the legislature's majority and revealed that dialogue with al-Mustaqbal movement on the presidential deadlock has stopped.

“The real reason behind the extension is to stop the current (parliamentary) majority from changing and consequently to control the presidential elections,” Aoun told As Safir newspaper in an interview published on Monday.

“Where has the equation on not holding parliamentary polls before the election of a president come from?” he asked.

“If al-Mustaqbal movement or any other party has suggested it, it doesn't mean its right,” Aoun said.

Had the elections to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman been held, Aoun claimed he would have gotten the support of the majority of Christian MPs.

He accused the March 14 alliance's majority of lawmakers of rejecting the parliamentary polls because they fear their results.

The Change and Reform bloc leader claimed that a certain embassy has a report showing that if the parliamentary elections were held now, then the representation of a top Sunni politician would drop.

Last week, 95 lawmakers, including Aoun's allies in Hizbullah, voted to extend the legislature's term until June 2017 amid a boycott by the Change and Reform bloc and Kataeb MPs.

Only two lawmakers voted against the extension.

Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for the middle of 2013, but MPs approved a 17-month extension of their mandate in May 2013.

However, the political stalemate and security concerns that motivated last year's extension have only deepened in the intervening period.

The country has been without a president since Suleiman's term ended on May 25 because lawmakers have failed to agree on a successor.

Aoun was asked if he thought the parliamentary elections could have been held despite the announcement of al-Mustaqbal movement that it would boycott them amid a vacuum in Baabda.

The polls could have been organized, Aoun said. “It is not right for us to abide by the movement's demands based on the hypothesis that it represents the majority of the Sunni sect.”

The FPM leader revealed that “dialogue with (al-Mustaqbal chief) ex-PM Saad Hariri on the presidency came to a stop because Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal put a veto” on his name.

“When the moment of truth came and we were waiting from him (Hariri) the final answer, he began to procrastinate in a sign that he did not have the necessary authorization” to engage in such dialogue, said Aoun.

The FPM chief has not officially announced his candidacy for the presidency but the MPs of his Change and Reform bloc have blocked more than a dozen rounds of parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a head of state.

The dialogue with Hariri was aimed at convincing the March 14 alliance at dropping its support for the candidacy of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.

Asked whether he thought that divisions on the parliamentary crisis would have repercussions on his ties with Hizbullah, Aoun said: “What brings us together is far stronger than the extension.”

“Those thinking that I would turn against the resistance because its MPs voted for the extension, are delusional,” he told As Safir.

“The resistance as a strategic choice is not affected by circumstantial political issues,” the lawmaker stressed.

Aoun claimed that the FPM and Hizbullah have reached a stage where they compliment each other because “together we fight a dangerous takfiri threat in addition to the Israeli danger.”

Hizbullah fighters have gone to join Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in their battle against Sunni rebels, drawing anger at home from Lebanon's Sunnis and stoking Sunni-Shiite tensions.

Comments 51
Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 08:00

Had the elections to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman been held, Aoun claimed he would have gotten the support of the majority of Christian MPs.

--Just a question: who's boycotting??

Default-user-icon CFTC (Guest) 10 November 2014, 08:43

votre analyse est tellement ''profonde'' que nous pouvons qu'y adhérer (-:

Default-user-icon flamethrower__.. (Guest) 10 November 2014, 10:36

@fear_not
Do you have any idea why I was repeatedly banned from posting?>>>

Thumb blablablablabla 10 November 2014, 11:41

Just ask for Ramy, @confidence center, Dimitri Hayek Street, Sin el Fil :)

Default-user-icon flamethrower__.. (Guest) 10 November 2014, 11:52

what's your opinion @blablabla? I know you used to vote me up 20 times which shows you respect me.

Thumb blablablablabla 10 November 2014, 15:06

Ask for Bassam @the same adress to know if it is true or it is just that ISP in Lebanon are sharing IP's between users in the same areas (IE Kesrouan) :p

Default-user-icon kill the qorum (Guest) 10 November 2014, 14:25

when did M14 say aoun's popularity is all but gone?

the question FT should be will aoun and his bloc attend parliament to vote for a president if those parliamentary elections are staged and the majority does not change - why has he and his cronies, kanaan the latest to avoid the question on vdl yesterday, refused to answer this simple question
and why claim that the LF broke nonexistent Christian unity, as bassil did a couple of days ago, when aoun could not even secure the unity within the Christians in his own change and reform bloc
hypocrisy and demagoguery block should be the more accurate name of aoun bloc

Default-user-icon AbuLiban (Guest) 10 November 2014, 22:26

BEST ONE. LMFAO. Like a aouneh knows what a fight is

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 08:03

He accused the March 14 alliance's majority of lawmakers of rejecting the parliamentary polls because they fear their results.

--March 14 won the polls in both 2005 and 2009, and you have put this country in a standstill with your boycott. If anything March 14 would have gained seats if the polls were held.

Thumb _mowaten_ 10 November 2014, 15:12

then let them be held. why block it if they would have won more seats?

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 10 November 2014, 18:03

Momo-
1.same can be said about the presidential elections.
2. if what's claoun claiming is true, then his allies don't want him to be president because they voted for the extension and prevented him from accomplishing his goal of gaining majority seats. you guys crack me up with your selective memory and choice of when and where actions apply. too funny!

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 08:07

The polls could have been organized, Aoun said. “It is not right for us to abide by the movement's demands based on the hypothesis that it represents the majority of the Sunni sect.”

--So why didn't your FPM ministers draw up plans to hold elections?? So you claim you'd receive the majority of the Christian MPs support, but you claim Hariri (who has more seats than you) doesn't represent Sunnis?? Jeddo you continue to amaze me...

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 08:16

The FPM leader revealed that “dialogue with (al-Mustaqbal chief) ex-PM Saad Hariri on the presidency came to a stop because Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal put a veto” on his name

--We know that very well Jeddo. It's all because of KSA's objection that you can't come become president. Why can't you convince Jumblatt to vote for you?? With all of M8 and Jumbo you'd win...

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 08:18

“Those thinking that I would turn against the resistance because its MPs voted for the extension, are delusional,” he told As Safir.

--Are you sure the resistance didn't turn their back on you?? It's very clear they don't want a president. If they really wanted you to become president, you'd have been elected months ago.

Thumb _mowaten_ 10 November 2014, 15:09

i'm sure Aoun is reading you and will be very confused by your smart insinuations. he might even join mustaqbal after such an eye-opening revelation

Missing people-power 10 November 2014, 18:03

Tex: M8 did not get 60 votes..... some M14 MP's did not vote for Geagea

Missing people-power 10 November 2014, 18:22

Tex.... You can't assume to know the intention of those who voted blank votes. Some M14 MP's voted blank votes, as well as some in Jumblatt's block, and you can't assume they would vote for Aoun over Geagea if they were forced to vote for one of the two.

Thumb the_roar 10 November 2014, 18:36

lol tex, assumes? no never..just read his post..he starts with the word "fact"

lmfao

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 19:37

Right guys, so the seven votes for Geagea's victims were cast by March 14, and Gemayel voted for himself while the rest of his party voted for Geagea lmao

Missing people-power 10 November 2014, 21:36

Tex, my understanding was that PSP now has only 7 MP's. Do you know who else voted for Helou besides PSP? We don't really know if it was M8 or M14? What side do you include Miqati on these days?

Missing people-power 10 November 2014, 23:52

Tex.... we are not really in disagreement on the big picture. M8 has roughly 58 MP's and M14 has roughly 58 MP's. Plus Jumblatt has 7, Miqati has 2, and one independent.

My point is that Aoun will never get 65 votes. Jumblatt will not vote for him, and I doubt very much that Berri's bloc will vote for him either (Amal). Hezbollah only pretends to support Aoun, but what they really want is a vacuum in the presidency, especially after the Baabda Declaration and after the "wooden formula" comment from Suleiman.

Keep up the good work Tex, we're on the same side.

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 08:20

The Change and Reform bloc leader claimed that a certain embassy has a report showing that if the parliamentary elections were held now, then the representation of a top Sunni politician would drop.

--So which embassy, Jeddo?

Thumb _mowaten_ 10 November 2014, 15:08

the one that gives saadoun his instructions

Default-user-icon kazan (Guest) 10 November 2014, 08:24

If within a year a visionary government will be elected and will start by implementing the following policies: equal rights to all lebanese, one educational system, eliminate corruption,disconnect religion from politics, politicians as role model in integrity, honesty and objectivity; then, one or 2 generations from now Lebanese will be able to live in peace.

Thumb Machia 10 November 2014, 08:43

Mr. Michel Aoun (Born in 1933) is desperate to join Mr. Robert Mugabe (Born in 1924) in the Decrepit Populist Club of Wannabe Dictators.
Mugabe, according http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mugabe, is pronounced moo-GAH-bee.
Eh! Aoun Moo-Gah-bee.
Sounds right.

Thumb _mowaten_ 10 November 2014, 15:07

what a fine political analysis. i dont understand why they didnt hire you already in the department of state.

Thumb Machia 10 November 2014, 22:50

I abblied to debartment of zstate but they said go talk to Moooowaten, MooGahBee!

Default-user-icon 54645 (Guest) 10 November 2014, 11:19

Aoun the demagogue forgets that his ally Frangieh already predicted this ongoing demagoguery, but he should not be blamed old people forget it's a sickness that comes with very old age.

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 10 November 2014, 11:23

the culprit of our dilemma is all the mps from all political groups that did not or refused to work on a new electoral law base on proportionality (stipulated in taef ) these are the real criminals and should be judged as traitors and agents
god bless democracy

Default-user-icon president hoover (Guest) 10 November 2014, 11:53

Mr aoun is still refusing to pledge to attend the parliament vote for the president in case a new parliament is elected and the majority does not change. Mr aoun will continue to obstruct the berri invented qorum to elect a president even if a new parliament is elected and the majority is not changed, its either president aoun or presidential vacuum.

Default-user-icon get it (Guest) 10 November 2014, 14:54

President hoover.. Presidential vacuum lol

Thumb eagledawn 10 November 2014, 13:12

third repost of the same: I guess flamethrower is very active today!

He accused the March 14 alliance's majority of lawmakers of rejecting the parliamentary polls because they fear their results.

But Aoun rejected the presidential elections because he fears the results. He is excellent at blame, shifting responsibility and not taking ownership for his own shortcomings.

Thumb ex-fpm 10 November 2014, 13:37

@eagle: This character flamethrower is intent on destroying the forum. He makes up 20-30 new names every day just to post and report posters knowing in advance his comments and names will eventually be deleted. It just shows the character of the person behind it all.

Thumb eagledawn 10 November 2014, 13:24

fourth repost of the same: I guess flamethrower is very active today!

He accused the March 14 alliance's majority of lawmakers of rejecting the parliamentary polls because they fear their results.

But Aoun rejected the presidential elections because he fears the results. He is excellent at blame, shifting responsibility and not taking ownership for his own shortcomings.

Missing people-power 10 November 2014, 14:51

Aoun finally admitting why he is illegally and unconstitutionally blocking the Presidential elections:

The Parliament majority is not in favor of him becoming President

Thumb -phoenix1 10 November 2014, 15:11

Cannot be Tuesday already? I bet anyone, tomorrow ask the old man about what he spoke today, and he will deny everything he said. Aoun has lost it now for good, and the sad part is that those who keep following him do not wish to concede this fact. The best part is this, Aboul Mish wants to be president fully knowing that he totally lacks the basic prerequisites.

Thumb blablablablabla 10 November 2014, 15:53

seems the comments are really getting funny. No need to read the articles, just the comments. What a shame ... for the editors!

Thumb habib 10 November 2014, 16:09

Hala2 mara7eb la la7rar

Default-user-icon JCWilliams (Guest) 10 November 2014, 17:34

Clearly Aoun spoke the truth on this subject. It is unfortunate for Hariri but probably accurate that the Christians would nominate and elect Aoun without outside interference and Lebanese Politicians cave into outside interests instead of having an election. Your politics are a farce. Democracy does not suit you. US Policy, Israel and Saudi Arabia benefit from this extension not Lebanese. Hezbollah and FPM are in the majority and this will grow not diminish. You may not like it but numbers do not lie, money and bribes included.

Thumb the_roar 10 November 2014, 18:17

the best result for Lebanon in choosing a Pres right now is Gen Kahwaji.

no one else fits the bill in these trying times.

For those insisting the General of Generals wants to become Pres, all I can say is keep focused on that line of thought...It only helps electing Gen Kahwaji.

The sooner the better....Gen Kahwaji was once a red line for Pres, but m14 & its backers are so focused on Aoun that they might out do themselves & elect who M8 wanted all along....Gen Kahwaji for Pres!

Default-user-icon yes (Guest) 10 November 2014, 18:50

Kahwaji is KSA's choice

Thumb the_roar 10 November 2014, 19:21

hardly...but however he gets their is fine by M8.

been there first choice from day one.

Kahwaji for Pres !

Default-user-icon ccc (Guest) 10 November 2014, 20:31

roar read the m8 and aouns medias about qahwaji, he's not fine by them not fine at all he's the biggest threat to aouns chance, bassil a few days ago launched a scathing attack on qahwaji

Default-user-icon wishful thinking (Guest) 10 November 2014, 18:41

Had the elections to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman been held, Aoun claimed he would have gotten the support of the majority of Christian MPs.

wow mate, somebody shoulda told you this back then at least you and you MPs would've attended all the presidential votes and gotten elected by now rather than only the one LOL

Thumb the_roar 10 November 2014, 18:46

lol Gabby you should hook up with tex, you guys are such brilliant predictors ...I wonder who would win ....btw gabby, has 3 weeks tops passed for Assad? lol @ daily tea leaves predictions.

Thumb Bandoul 10 November 2014, 20:23

What a bizarre and unintelligible piece of theater for the feeble minded and mentally challenged. When will the FPM stop drinking this intoxicating elixir of absolute self destructive consequences? This charade is pathetic and an insult to anyone who can read and write expect the brainwashed of course.

Thumb beiruti 10 November 2014, 23:15

To get this straight, Aoun says that Mustaqbel wanted the Parliamentary vote delayed because as things now stand he would win a majority of the Christian Deputy vote, but, I assume from his statement, the Sunni MPs would not go along and so, Aoun could not win the 51% needed for election. His statement infers that if an election were held, that Mustaqbel would not end up with as many MPs as it has now. A quorum would be 2/3 of 128 or 85 MPs and to become president, the winner needs 51% of the quorum since there has already been 1 vote and no one received 2/3 of the vote. So, he would need 43 votes to win. Depending on which 83 members were present, M8 commands 51 votes, M14 has 61 with PSP holding 11 and the Armenians having 5. If there were an election, the only change would be a shift away from FPM to any other party.

Thumb beiruti 10 November 2014, 23:15

Aoun's best chance is with the present parliament. And there can be no new Parliament elected anyway. Why? The election of a new Parliament, under the constitution triggers the resignation of the Cabinet and the need to appoint a new one with a new PM. Only the President can sign the decree appointing a new PM and there is currently no President. So we must first elect a President, then resign the Parliament, hold Parliamentary elections and then have the new Parliament give the Vote of Confidence to the new Council of Ministers.

Thumb nickjames 10 November 2014, 23:32

Exactly. This is what I've been saying. Aoun's best chance is with this parliament. If elections take place he's gonna lose a lot of seats anyway. He can say all he wants that he was against extension, but really he boycotted knowing that his votes wouldn't prevent the extension. He needs these seats to keep boycotting of the presidential election. His seats are his only leverage right now.

Thumb beiruti 10 November 2014, 23:17

With Aoun boycotting the Presidential vote, nothing can happen. The legitimate institutions of government atrophy and Lebanon becomes a failed state and a playground on which Nusra/ISIS and Hezbollah can bring the regional sectarian war into Lebanon. This is the hell that Mr. Aoun is visiting upon Lebanon and it is his calculation that the MPs would opt for him before opting for hell. Given the fact that this has not yet happened and hell has already started in Lebanon, he should see that even hell is a better alternative than an Aoun Presidency.

Thumb thepatriot 11 November 2014, 09:29

Excellent Beiruti!