Mashnouq Urges Aoun to become Consensual Candidate, Slams Lack of Responsibility

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Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq criticized on Thursday the rivals over the lack of responsibility concerning the presidential elections, praising Lebanon's ability to withstand the turmoil in the region under the tenure of the “best” Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

“Our rivals are insisting to push forward their presidential candidate to reach Baabda Palace, according to the formula: either our candidate or no one,” Mashnouq said in an interview with As Safir newspaper.

The minister, who is affiliated to al-Mustaqbal Movement, said that his side isn't putting any veto on any candidate, wondering if Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun could become a consensual candidate.

“It is his mission to prove himself as a consensual figure,” Mashnouq pointed out, saying: “Aoun hasn't so far exerted the necessary efforts.”

The minister said that Aoun has set two paths for the presidential elections “either we elect him or whoever he agrees on.”

Lebanon has been without a head state since May when the term of President Michel Suleiman ended without the election of his successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps have thwarted the elections.

“We are creating our local crises that compel us to enter endless discussions,” Mashnouq continued, stressing that Lebanon could become the least sectarian country in the region with time.

The minister added that the “flames in the region cannot be ignored, but Salam is characterized with refusing to allow the country to become part of any conflict.”

Concerning the ongoing dialogue between al-Mustaqbal and Hizbullah in Ain al-Tineh under the auspices of Speaker Nabih Berri, Mashnouq described the seventh session as “positive.”

“The dialogue is focusing on two main issues: defusing tension between Sunnis and Shiites... and electing a new head of state.”

The dialogue between the two parties kicked off in December.

Asked about the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Mashnouq said that “90 percent of the displaced Syrians entered the country legally.”

He pointed out that the new measures along the border helped in limiting the entry of Syrians into Lebanon by 50 percent compared to around 800,000 Syrians during one month.

Mashnouq considered that the humanitarian cases remain an exception.

For Lebanon, the flood of refugees escaping the civil war in their country, has placed a tremendous strain on the country's economy, resources, infrastructure and delicate sectarian balance.

There are around 1.5 million displaced Syrians in the country of about 4.5 million.

Lebanon began imposing tighter restrictions in October when the government announced that it will not accept any more Syrian refugees except for what it deemed to be "exceptional" cases.

Since then, the number of refugee registrations in Lebanon has considerably dropped.

Mashnouq told As Safir that the establishment of any refugee camp along the border with Syria is at the center of a heated debate.

“We must evacuate around 30,000 from (the northeastern border town of) Arsal and move them to controlled encampments inside the region of the Bekaa,” he added.



Comments 18
Thumb marcus 05 March 2015, 09:17

Aoun by nature is confrontational and he can never be a consensual candidate.

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 05 March 2015, 11:34

god bless democracy

Default-user-icon lolz (Guest) 05 March 2015, 12:50

You're cute (; ++

Thumb Machia 05 March 2015, 12:01

Time to move on and give Aoun a chance!

Missing greatpierro 05 March 2015, 13:22

why not; but shouldn't Aoun pledge consensus so that the different parties go for him?

Missing un520 05 March 2015, 13:59

I agree. Aoun will be in a more independant position and might well surprise people in a positive way. The MOU with Hezbollah has a ultimate goal of integrating the last militia into the army. Obviously this is not an easy task, but at least working towards it will give lebanese hope for the future.

Default-user-icon lolz (Guest) 05 March 2015, 12:49

A consensual candidate officially nominated on tv by hassan nasrallah, a self described iranian tool, thanks for the laughs mr mashnouk!

Thumb _mowaten_ 05 March 2015, 13:56

nominated by nasrallah? what are you on "lolz"?

Default-user-icon aoun (Guest) 05 March 2015, 14:23

yes nassrallah nominated me publicly in his latest speech

Default-user-icon lolz (Guest) 05 March 2015, 14:48

That facts are "mowaten" on November 03 2014 in a televised speech Nasrallah officially nominated Michel Aoun by name as Hezbollah's candidate for the presidency. Previous to that date even Aoun himself refused to submit his name, unless there was a consensus on him. You girls should actually listen to Nasrallah's speeches instead of bouncing around slamming yourselves like stoned Punk junkies in a Mosh pit, repeating memorized idiotic slogans, blindly worshiping his image you might learn something about what he really stands for. He can come on read the phone book and you won't notice. Why do I even bother answering you it's like talking to a little illeterate unteachable child.

Thumb _mowaten_ 05 March 2015, 16:26

you're indeed a pack of "lolz" dude, all that ranting around and hysteria, and yet you missed the point.
supporting aoun's candidacy, does not mean the same thing as "nominating" him. look up the word since you're such a smart boy.

Missing peace 05 March 2015, 18:24

mooowaten always playing on words to twist facts.....

Default-user-icon lolz (Guest) 05 March 2015, 18:44

The lolz are on your pitiful lack of comprehension "mowaten". Lemme try to make it so simple, crossing my fingers with the hope against all hope, that even someone like you would understand. Despite all the media hype and rumors Aoun repeatedly refused to call himself a presidential candidate that is until Nastallah officially came out and nominated him. That is when Aoun declared himself a candidate. Ergo, Nasrallah nominated Aoun. It's the same argument you guys regularly use when addressing the Pierre Helou candidacy and the nomination from Jumblat.

Default-user-icon ms caroline "bassil" (Guest) 05 March 2015, 13:05

How about instead of a consensual candidate we have a sensual candidate.

Thumb freedomarch 05 March 2015, 14:12

How about Sound being an invisible candidate. He can still be sensual if he wants, no one will notice or care anyway!

Default-user-icon Costa (Guest) 05 March 2015, 13:47

If ever that caporal becomes President, I and many other will relinquish our Lebanese identity card, we deserve much better than Napo-Aoun to quote Berri

Thumb _mowaten_ 05 March 2015, 16:29

Dear costa, you're so humble it's endearing. Please by all means relinquish your lebanese ID. This way you would shift from -traitor- to-enemy- of lebanon, that's an upgrade for you.

Default-user-icon mowaten.zaboura (Guest) 05 March 2015, 18:07

will you ever get a life?