Report: Aoun to Agree to Franjieh's Presidential Bid if He Garners Enough Votes

Head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun noted that Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh has the needed characteristics to become president, adding that he is willing to back his bid for the presidency, reported As Safir newspaper on Tuesday.

His visitors told the daily that the lawmaker is “willing to give his blessing to Franjieh's candidacy if he garners the necessary votes at parliament.”

“Congratulations to him if he pulls it off and some sides are delusional in believing that I would sabotage his bid,” he was quoted as saying.

Aoun is a presidential candidate along with his rival head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea.

Franjieh has in recent days emerged as a potential presidential candidate amid reports that he had held talks last week with Mustaqbal Movement leader MP Saad Hariri.

The Marada chief's visitors quoted him as saying: “I will not confirm or deny whether I had met Hariri in Paris.”

“There can be no presidential election without the approval of Saudi Arabia and its blessing to the candidates,” he remarked according to al-Akhbar newspaper Tuesday.

Furthermore, he said: “The positive atmosphere at the dialogue talks on the presidency persuades me to continue on supporting the candidacy of Aoun.”

“As long as he is a candidate, then I cannot run for presidency,” he declared according to his visitors.

“Should we reach a point where we are forced to chose an alternative, then I will chose myself,” explained Franjieh.

“I cannot compare my popularity to that of Aoun's even if I enjoy the support of the Shiite community,” he added.

Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the polls.

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