Geagea Says Hizbullah Does Not Want Aoun as President
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stressed Wednesday that Hizbullah does not want presidential elections in the current period or the election as president of its main Christian ally, Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun.
“At the strategic level, Hizbullah cannot coexist with a real state in Lebanon … and at the tactical level Hizbullah does not want General Aoun as president, although it cannot afford to lose him, which has pushed it to obstruct the presidential vote,” Geagea said in an interview with Russia Today TV.
“This way it does not lose Aoun and it postpones the problem,” Geagea added.
On Monday, Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah accused the LF of seeking to stir a dispute between Hizbullah and the FPM.
“If we head to parliament, it is known that =Aoun will not be elected,” Nasrallah noted, dismissing LF calls in this regard.
“Our relation with (Speaker Nabih) Berri is not based on coercion and we are ethically committed to supporting Aoun's nomination,” Nasrallah added.
Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and the FPM, Hizbullah and some of their allies have been boycotting the electoral sessions.
Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri launched late in 2015 a proposal to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his suggestion was rejected by the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.
In January, Geagea announced his support for Aoun's presidential bid after the LF and the FPM signed a rapprochement agreement described as a “declaration of intent.”
Hizbullah and the FPM, as well as March 14's Lebanese Forces, have argued that Aoun is more eligible than Franjieh to become president given the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.