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March 14 Alliance Mulling Another Candidate for Presidency

The March 14 alliance is mulling to adopt the candidacy of another official in the run for presidency after Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea failed to garner the required parliamentary votes.

Sources close to the coalition said in remarks published in the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that the March 14 leadership is reconsidering its options after the first round of voting.

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Al-Rahi Expected to Meet with Hariri in Rome over Presidential Polls

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is scheduled to travel to Rome on Thursday to attend several religious ceremonies and is expected to meet with al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri, al-Joumhouria daily reported.

The newspaper said that al-Rahi will attend a ceremony on Saturday night on the centenary of the establishment of Saint Maroun church in Rome. President Michel Suleiman will also participate in the event.

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Gemayel Says Geagea Still Kataeb's Candidate, Confirms Party MPs Voted for Him

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel condemned Wednesday the move of a yet unidentified MP who had cast a ballot carrying his name during the first round of the presidential vote, confirming that all of his party's MPs voted for Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.

“The five MPs of Kataeb voted for Dr. Samir Geagea,” Gemayel said in an interview with LBCI television in the evening.

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14 Million Captagon Pills Seized in Sudan after Tip from Beirut

Sudanese police has managed to seize 14 million Captagon narcotic pills that were smuggled from Beirut, following a tip-off from Lebanon's Central Anti-Drug Bureau.

According to a statement issued by the Internal Security Forces, the aforementioned bureau had obtained “confirmed intel about the smuggling of five containers carrying corn and Captagon from the Port of Beirut to Sudan.”

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Salam Lauds Presidential Polls for Being Democratic

Prime Minister Tammam Salam lauded on Wednesday the presidential election process, saying it was a reflection of the country's democracy.

The parliamentary session came as part of the political consensus that prevailed in the country since the formation of the cabinet, Salam said.

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Geagea: We Will Not Acquiesce to Settlement over Presidential Elections

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea hailed on Wednesday the March 14 camp on the success of the first round of the presidential elections, saying that it restored dignity to the polls after years of foreign meddling.

He remarked: “We will not acquiesce to a settlement over the presidential elections and we will continue with the democratic process until the end.”

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Syrian Planes Raid Arsal as Rockets Land on Various Bekaa Regions

A number of rockets landed on Wednesday in the eastern region of the Bekaa as earlier a Syrian warplane raided the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal.

One rocket landed between al-Taybeh and Brital regions, reported LBCI television.

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Gemayel to Run for Presidential Post in Second Round

Labor Minister Sejaan Qazzi announced on Wednesday that Kataeb Party chief Amin Gemayel is a candidate for the second parliamentary session set to elect a new president, stressing that the March 14 alliance will cast votes to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in the first round.

“Gemayel has been a candidate for months... Discussions are focusing on how to secure his victory... The upcoming stage will determine when he enters the presidential race,” Qazzi said.

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March 8, 14 Rivalries Strike Efforts to Avoid Presidential Vacuum as 52 MPs Cast Blank Votes

Lawmakers failed to elect a new president on Wednesday, the result of rivalry between the March 8 and 14 camps as no candidate was able to garner the needed two-thirds of votes to become Lebanon's next head of state.

Speaker Nabih Berri chaired the session at noon Wednesday after 124 MPs attended it, securing the required two-thirds quorum.

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Report: Berri to Call for Second Round of Presidential Election in May

Speaker Nabih Berri is expected to call for a second parliamentary session set to elect a new president in May as observers are decisive that the first round on Wednesday will not lead to the election of a new head of state.

According to al-Joumhouria newspaper published on Wednesday, the speaker will call for another round unless consensus among parliamentary blocs was reached over the name of the new president.

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