Saniora to Geagea: Constitution Doesn't Say President Can be Imposed, Appointed

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Al-Mustaqbal bloc chief ex-PM Fouad Saniora on Monday hit back at Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea over the latter's latest speech, stressing that the constitution stipulates that the president of the republic must be “elected,” not “appointed” or “imposed.”

“The constitution stipulates how the president must be elected and it does not mention that the president can be imposed or appointed. The designation of the prime ministers also has constitutional rules related to the binding parliamentary consultations and the issue is not an extraconstitutional distribution of shares,” Saniora said.

“What would then prevent that the ministers and the ministerial statement be imposed on us? Wouldn't we be launching an irreversible course of deterioration?” the former premier warned.

Responding to Geagea's statement that “the constitution is with us all and there is no justification for fear,” Saniora added: “How would the realistic implementation of the constitution protect us? Does it protect us in the presidential elections when a sole candidate is being imposed on us and the vote is being obstructed as is the case today?”

“They are obstructing the implementation of the constitution, especially Article 74 that stipulates that the parliament must immediately convene to elect a president once the presidential post becomes vacant for any reason,” Saniora noted.

“If the realistic implementation of the constitution is not protecting me now, how would it protect me in the future, knowing that we committed to the constitution when ex-PM Saad Hariri's government was toppled despite our dismay and anger,” the former premier went on to say.

Geagea was quick to snap back on Monday.

“My friend, ex-PM Fouad Saniora, regardless of my respect for all the general principles mentioned in your comments on my speech, which are at the core of my personal beliefs, I have to ask you a single question: what should we do now?” Geagea tweeted.

In a speech commemorating “the martyrs of the Lebanese resistance” on Saturday, the LF leader had stressed that the only solution to the country's long-running presidential void crisis is the election of Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun as president and the re-designation of al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri as premier.

“The only practical solution to hold the presidential elections is supporting General Aoun's presidential nomination. Some might have questions regarding General Aoun's platform, alliances or performance, but let them give us feasible alternatives,” Geagea said.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Hariri, who is close to Saudi Arabia, launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.

Hariri's move prompted Geagea to endorse the nomination of Aoun, his long-time Christian rival.

The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid argue that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.

Comments 6
Missing imagine_1979 05 September 2016, 17:11

Maybe saad and co will discuss this in the next bruch with hezbollah...
Worthless...All of u, if u stood up for ur believes and didnot ade compromise after the other maybe, maybe, we wouldnot be here now... I wish i could vote in tripoli, rifi (despite that i donnot fully trust the guy) seems to be some kind of alternative...
Go meditate on tripoli redults amdaybe u will understand what went wrong..
As for geagea and hos aoun nomination, he can try to make it look as pretty as he want, elections results (even if municipality elections are not the best way to weight political affiliations) also showed a no go...
Worthless, all of u....

Thumb .mowaten. 05 September 2016, 18:20

And if the MPs try to prevent elections again, then to hell with all of them, we should all rise up and kick them out by any means necessary. Regardless of anyone's partisan affiliation, there's a point where we should all rise up and say enough is enough.

Thumb .mowaten. 06 September 2016, 15:45

Enough with that censorship naharnet! I demand an explanation, why was this post removed, twice!?

This parliament has demonstrated so for over two years now that it is unable to elect a president.

Add to this the fact that the parliament members terms expired 3 years ago, and their self-extensions are to say the least controversial.

Each camp blames the other for the stalemate, but at this point it is not even relevant anymore, we all know pointing fingers won't change or solve anything. So the only thing we can do is recognize is that the system has failed, our politicians have failed -across the spectrum- and we're at a dead end.

The only logical conclusion at this stage is to let the people speak, let the Lebanese people elect a new parliament.
Worst case scenario we end up with the same balance of powers and return to the current stalemate.
Best case scenario we have a shift, in whichever direction, that grants one side the needed majority to resolve the deadlock.

Missing humble 05 September 2016, 18:03

Hakim made a Historical mistake! How can he ally with someone who is agent to Ebola, Iran and Syria?

Missing un520 05 September 2016, 23:01

Far from it. No politician in Lebanon impresses me more than Geagea. It takes a special rare kind of politician to put his country ahead of his own personal interest.

Thumb .mowaten. 06 September 2016, 13:18

hahahhaa a "special rare kind" of politician indeed.