Geagea: We Must Limit Period of Presidential Vacuum as Much as Possible

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea lamented on Thursday the political powers' failure to elect a president following the obstruction of quorum for the fourth time by the March 8 alliance.

He said during a press conference: “We must exert efforts with all sides in order to limit the period of presidential vacuum as much as possible.”

He accused the March 8 camp of obstructing quorum, saying that only the Development and Liberation bloc respected Speaker Nabih Berri's call to attend the sessions, as well as the centrist Democratic Gathering bloc of MP Walid Jumblat.

Commenting on Change and Reform MP Ibrahim Kanaan's claim that the bloc is seeking the election of a president through sound means, Geagea noted that this would be the one time in 24 years that a president would be elected without foreign meddling.

Moreover, he remarked that had Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun run in the elections, he would have lost to Geagea should the elections been held in the constitutional manner.

“This is why the March 8 alliance has been obstructing quorum,” he added.

In addition, the LF leader revealed that Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi had informed him of his disappointment with some of the Maronite leaders who had reneged on their vow to ensure that the presidential elections are held.

Geagea had held talks with al-Rahi on Wednesday.

A meeting for the four Maronite leaders, Aoun, Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh, Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel, and representatives of the LF, agreed during a meeting chaired by al-Rahi in March not to obstruct the polls and ensure the election of a president before May 25.

Geagea did not attend the talks with security reasons, but he agreed to their decisions.

President Michel Suleiman's term ends on May 25.

Parliament failed on Thursday to elect a president for the fifth time following a boycott by the majority of the March 8 camp over the ongoing differences with the March 14 alliance on a presidential candidate.

Berri has kept parliament sessions open-ended until Suleiman's term ends.



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