Franjieh Backs Qahwaji against Vacuum, but to Go Ahead with 'Unanimous' Decision of Resignation

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Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh has said he would back the extension of Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji's term to avoid vacuum in the military leadership but would also call on the minister representing him in the cabinet to resign if the March 8 alliance took a unanimous decision about it.

Franjieh told As Safir daily in an interview published on Friday that he supports a call to appoint Commando Regiment chief Brig. Gen. Chamel Roukoz as army chief when Qahwaji's term expires at the end of September.

“But if his appointment was not possible and I had the option to choose between Qahwaji and vacuum, then I would select the extension of” the army chief's term, said the lawmaker.

On Wednesday, al-Akhbar daily cited sources as saying that Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun has threatened to pull his ministers out of the government unless the intention to extend the terms of several senior officers was dropped.

When asked about the alleged threat, Franjieh, who belongs to Aoun's Change and Reform bloc, said that he rejects the paralysis of the cabinet of Prime Minister Tammam Salam over any possible extension.

Yet he stressed that he would consult with his allies in the March 8 alliance, mainly Hizbullah, before taking any move.

“If they unanimously decided to withdraw from the government, then I will not stay alone in it,” said Franjieh, who is represented by Culture Minister Rony Araiji in the cabinet.

The lawmaker also expected the dialogue between the Lebanese Forces and the FPM not to achieve any tangible results.

He said the talks between the two rivals cannot produce a president.

Baabda Palace has been vacant since May 2014 when President Michel Suleiman's six-year term ended. The majority of the March 8 alliance's MPs have been boycotting the parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a head of state under the excuse that there should be an agreement on a compromise candidate first.

Franjieh expected the vacuum to last long.

He also denied that his Marada Movement was engaged in a similar dialogue with the LF. There are consultative meetings between the two sides from time to time, he said.

In the interview, Franjieh threw his weight behind Hizbullah in its verbal attacks against Saudi Arabia over its military campaign on Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition in support of Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi's government against the rebels has reached a dead end, he said.

The air strikes will not lead to success on the ground because Saudi Arabia cannot wage a ground invasion, the MP told As Safir.

“I support (Hizbullah leader) Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah over the stance that he has announced on the Saudi war,” said Franjieh.

Nasrallah said in a speech last month that Saudi Arabia will be roundly defeated in its air campaign against the Huthis.

The Hizbullah chief is expected to make more fiery statements against Riyadh in a speech he is scheduled to give on Friday.

G.K.

H.K.

Comments 20
Missing marounalshishani 17 April 2015, 08:32

Lol army deserter aoun is one lost and lonely sole! But it also explains rest of march 8 who are nothing but najas allied together to scam the country and to dwindle christian rights

Default-user-icon msharafieh not ashrafieh (Guest) 17 April 2015, 08:33

well said

Missing marounalshishani 17 April 2015, 08:35

Army deserter aoun will not dare resign because shaqfi bassil will be out of a job and how else would they be able to steal?

Missing coolmec 17 April 2015, 08:53

@Maroun
Don't worry Bassil has stolen enough besides assuming he resigns now and by the time a new gov't is formed he will have plenty of time to steal more

Thumb galaxy 17 April 2015, 08:37

why? lol

Thumb Mystic 17 April 2015, 09:13

Frangiehs are real patriots. Most of this guys family was murdered by Ashrafieh assassins.

Missing peace 17 April 2015, 11:20

if the M8 definition of patriotism is obeying syrians and frangieh does not hide his allegiance to the baath regime then yes he is a patriot....

Thumb -phoenix1 17 April 2015, 12:13

Frangieh and the like sure are good patriots, but let them just once voice one criticism over Hezbollah and let's see how people like you will change their stances. Ah ya Mystic, ya habib 2albi.

Thumb eagledawn 17 April 2015, 12:19

better than that.... all that fake "God bless the Army" rhetoric will not last one second if the Army assumes its responsibility and stops the terrorist party from crossing over to Syria.

Thumb geha 17 April 2015, 09:52

what we understand from this is that even aoun's allies are not backing his stance regarding appointments :)

Missing humble 17 April 2015, 10:54

Much more patriot and Christian than the Caporal "agent-servant" to Ebola.

Thumb the_roar 17 April 2015, 11:12

All the parties are against the most supported Christian party in Lebanon(FPM).

Its becoming clearer by the day, Lebanon Christians shall never have a true leader to represent them.

As long as there's no direct people vote, then the status quo will continue.

Todays article showing another lightweight(Franjieh) putting in his 2 cents....add up all of them...Geagea-Genayel-Franjieh-Chamoun etc.
The General will defeat the lot in a people vote for Christian representation.....that's why direct people vote will never see the light of day in Lebanon....No true Christian say is allowed.

Missing humble 17 April 2015, 13:17

If ONLY the Christians vote for whom they want as president, the Caporal has not a chance. Many Christians have FINALLY discovered who he really is...

Thumb -phoenix1 17 April 2015, 11:22

Well, one must say that Frangieh's position on the army and to avoid the vacuum are good and show a very good degree of responsibility, but on Hezbollah's I am one who see this as a mixed pot. Does Frangieh have any choice over this matter or not remains to be seen but right now, we like any other people in the world are faced with priorities, thus one of our top of priorities is our fight against terrorism. In this context we certainly must not under any way possible tamper with the workings of the army or its top command. We sure have provisions in our constitution that would cover such matters in the best interest of the nation, therefore no matter what, General Qahwaji or General Roukos should stay, at least till the battle on terrorism is won. Furthermore we still have to deal with the new weapons that are arriving, the top command should stay.

Thumb the_roar 17 April 2015, 11:28

It was "earmarked" decades ago that Christians must leave the ME.

When the strongest nation of Christian rights signed the "taef" accord.

It did so knowing it was a step closer to achieving this goal.

God curse all those who signed it.

Today Lebanon had a chance to give the Christian a true voice bu allowing direct people vote.....They all rushed to say NOOOOO.

Now Lebanon must remain a servant of outsiders to decide.
Be it Islam Iran or Islam KSA...with the Druze having the veto vote.

Christians shall remain silent.

Missing humble 17 April 2015, 13:18

If ONLY the Christians vote for whom they want as president, the Caporal has not a chance. Many Christians have FINALLY discovered who he really is...

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 17 April 2015, 13:49

god bless democracy (people decide )
anyone who is afraid of the will of the people is a dictator or terrorists as Kerry said after the killing of Charlie s journalist

Thumb -phoenix1 17 April 2015, 13:55

Humble, the caporal is over and done with, c'est fini pour lui.

Missing humble 17 April 2015, 16:41

I am fully aware that the Caporal is terminated..he has always been a loser..
Thank you for all your posts which are really excellent and truthful.
Thank you also for your extraordinary patience.

Thumb -phoenix1 17 April 2015, 17:37

Dear Humble thank you so much, we shall continue to live by the truth, for the truth and nothing but the truth, no matter how hard and painful it will be. By the will of God, we shall prevail.