Franjieh Says Still Backs Aoun's Presidential Bid, But Not if It's for 'Obstruction'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh declared Monday that he still supports the presidential bid of his ally Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun – if it is not aimed at blocking his own nomination.
The stance was voiced in a Marada statement issued after overnight talks in Batroun between Franjieh and Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law.
The meeting was “friendly and frank and did not involve any commitments,” the statement said.
Media reports had said that Franjieh told Bassil that he cannot carry on with his nomination if Aoun does not endorse it.
The Marada statement said the northern leader would “maintain his support for General Aoun and give the issue more time if there is a real inclination for consensus on General Aoun's nomination.”
“But if the nomination (of Aoun) is only aimed at blocking Franjieh's bid, we would take another stance,” Marada added.
The statement also noted that Marada would accept to discuss a possible rejection of Franjieh's nomination by the top Maronite leaders over “Christian or national arguments,” but not if the objections are related to electoral rivalry.
Separately, Marada noted that al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri had called during his Paris talks with Franjieh for an electoral law “that does not harm the representation of a certain sect, without specifying the law's type.”
The two leaders “agreed to reject any law that undermines the representation of any sect,” the statement added.