Harb: Electing Aoun Will Drive Lebanon to Negativityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb said on Saturday that it is not in al-Mustaqbal Movement ex-PM Saad Hariri's interest to nominate MP Michel Aoun for the presidency, as he pointed out that it would lead the country to “negativity.”
“The country will arrive at a lot of negativity shall Aoun (founder of the Free Patriotic Movement) become a president,” said Harb to the VDL (100.5) in an interview.
“Although Hariri has not nominated Aoun yet, but I can see that he is apt to support his candidacy,” added Harab.
“It is not in Hariri's interest,” he went on to say.
Highlighting the interference of Hizbullah, Aoun's ally, in the war in Syria Harb asked: “We still don't know the position of Aoun as for the involvement of Hizbullah in Syria?”
Hariri held a much-anticipated meeting with Aoun in Rabieh on Friday, shortly after he held talks in Maarab with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
Since Monday, Hariri has met with Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh, Kataeb Party leader MP Sami Gemayel, Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat and Speaker Nabih Berri.
The ex-PM's return to Lebanon last week has triggered a flurry of rumors and media reports about a possible presidential settlement and the possibility that the he has finally decided to endorse Aoun for the presidency in a bid to break the deadlock.
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 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, after months of political rapprochement talks between their two parties.
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.