Al-Daher, Nicola Withdraw from Electoral Race
Independent MP Khaled al-Daher of Akkar and MP Nabil Nicola of the Change and Reform bloc on Tuesday announced that they will not run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Following talks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Center House, Daher called on his supporters to stand by the premier in the elections in order to “protect and defend Lebanon.”
“I love Hariri and I trust him and I'm not here for a parliamentary seat. My goal is unity and closing ranks,” the MP said.
Al-Daher had announced the “suspension” of his membership in Hariri's al-Mustaqbal bloc in February 2015, following a wave of controversy stirred by remarks he made about some Christian symbols.
“In the face of the current uproar, and in order not to embarrass the al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc, I announce the suspension of my membership in the bloc,” Daher said at the time, amid media reports that he was “expelled” from the bloc.
Separately, Change and Reform bloc MP Nabil Nicola, who was elected in 2005 and 2009 for a Maronite seat in Northern Metn, said in a statement that he is leaving the electoral race with no corruption on his hands.
“Seeing as the political situation of our (Free Patriotic) Movement is today in need for change, I will give my place to those aspiring to occupy this post and I wish everyone success,” Nicola said.
“I will remain in the service of His Excellency, President Michel Aoun -- who is a father, a brother, a friend and a mentor -- so that the country reaches the shore of safety,” the MP added.