Report: Franjieh Continues Efforts to Overcome Obstacles Hampering his Nomination

Head of the al-Mustaqbal movement Saad Hariri and Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh continue their efforts to facilitate the hurdles of the latter's nomination for the post of the presidency, al-Akhbar daily reported on Monday.

Franjieh met on Sunday with head of the Free Patriotic Movement Jebran Bassil for over two hours, but the two men were unable to reach a common agreement on the controversial file of the presidency never the less expressing keenness to preserve the cohesion of the March 8 alliance, the daily added.

Marada leader told Bassil that he is “a candidate for the post of the presidency,” but assured him that his “nomination will not be completed unless MP Michel Aoun gives his blessings.”

A Franjieh-Hariri meeting last week had sparked intense speculation that the two men agreed to the nomination of the Marada chief as president.

“I will not accept to be a reason for a new split between the Christians,” Franjieh told Bassil, adding “nor will I accept to represent part of the Christians. I want to represent them all.”

“I will not accept a deal with Hariri only for him to return to the post of premiership without stipulating a new civilized electoral law,” he assured the FPM leader stressing that an election law is the prelude to the presidency.

Franjieh also informed Bassil that during his meeting with Hariri, the latter said that it is better to "adopt the election law of the 1960 and to preserve the Information Branch and some ministerial quotas," assuring that Hariri did not mind to "give Aoun some shares in ministries and public departments," the sources added.

Later on Monday a statement issued by Franjieh's media office said Hariri did not request the adoption of the 1960 electoral law nor did he specify any in particular. He asked for a law that does not eliminate any sect.

The statement added that the meeting with Bassil was "friendly without any commitments."

Marada leader had received a phone call over the weekend from Hariri urging him to convince his allies mainly Hizbullah of his nomination, assuring that he is addressing the issue with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and that Saudi Arabia will handle the matter.”

Franjieh is allied with Hizbullah, which has been involved in fighting alongside the Syrian regime against the country's rebel uprising.

He is also a personal friend of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A number of March 14 alliance figures had voiced their opposition to the nomination of Franjieh due to his close ties with Assad.

Source: Naharnet

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