Change and Reform: We Will Not Vote for Compromise President

The Change and Reform bloc defended on Tuesday its decision to boycott last week's presidential elections session, saying that it is a political right.

It said after its weekly meeting: “We will not vote for a compromise president.”

“A compromise president means relinquishing some of the fundamental principles of the state,” added former Labor Minister Salim Jreissati after the bloc's meeting.

“We support a capable and all-embracing president who does not provoke any side,” he continued.

“We are prepared to elect a president who enjoys the qualities we have mentioned,” he said.

He therefore explained that Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun chose not to run in the elections in order to avoid acting as a provocative candidate.

Jreissati stressed the need for the election of a president “who adheres to the National Pact, which is the cornerstone of political life.”

Moreover, he stated: “Agreement, not consensus should be reached over the presidency, because consensus entails concessions.”

“Are they bothered that we are holding contacts with head of the Mustaqbal Movement Saad Hariri? We are at least communicating with an influential Lebanese figure,” Jreissati said in an indirect reference to criticism the Change and Reform bloc received over its boycott of last week's presidential elections.

“At least Hariri chose to make concessions that led to the formation of a government,” he noted.

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil of the Change and Reform bloc had held talks last week with Hariri in Paris on the presidential elections.

They stressed the need to hold the elections on time.

Lawmakers last week failed to elect a new president as differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances led to a lack of quorum in the second parliamentary session aimed at choosing a new head of state.

While the March 14 camp held onto its candidate Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance, except for Speaker Nabih Berri's Development and Liberation bloc, boycotted the second round over lack of consensus on one candidate.

The third round of the polls is scheduled for Wednesday, but hopes are low that quorum will be met due to the lingering political differences.



Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.