Geagea Decries 'Major War' on LF, FPM in Elections, Says Both Mustaqbal, Hizbullah against Maarab Agreement

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea announced Wednesday that the LF and the Free Patriotic Movement faced a “major war” from all parties in the latest municipal polls, noting that both al-Mustaqbal movement and Hizbullah are against the LF-FPM rapprochement.

“Municipal polls have never reflected the true political strength” of the political parties, Geagea said in an interview on MTV.

“We have never claimed to be a 'Christian tsunami' or that we represent 86% of Christians,” Geagea added, referring to the LF-FPM alliance.

“There was no confusion and it was our first attempt. A lot of technical mistakes happened and we will draw lessons from them but all of this does not justify the conclusions that were published in the media,” he said.

Asked about allegations that the LF and the FPM sought to “eliminate” local leaders in the elections in certain towns, such as Qoubaiyat, Tannourine and Deir al-Qamar, Geagea noted that “all the electoral battles were imposed” on the two parties.

“We did not seek a battle but we don't accept that anyone be under attack only because they belong to us. How did (Mustaqbal bloc MP Hadi) Hbeish become allied with (ex-MP Mikhail) al-Daher despite the sharp rift between them?” the LF leader added, referring to the Qoubaiyat battle.

“The LF and the FPM are the biggest Christian forces and no other party or figure has the same representation among Christians,” he stressed.

“Are we supposed to dissolve the LF department in Deir al-Qamar because (LF deputy chief) George Adwan failed to reach an agreement with (National Liberal Party chief MP) Dory Chamoun? We have the right to run in any electoral battle,” Geagea emphasized.

“Are they trying to say that any citizen has the right to run in the elections in Qoubaiyat and Tannourine except for the members of the LF and the FPM?” he added.

Turning to LF-FPM rapprochement, Geagea pointed out that “the Maarab agreement was based on specific points.”

“Until now the FPM is still allied with Hizbullah and we are still allied with al-Mustaqbal,” he said.

But he added that “all parties are waging a major war against the Maarab agreement and even al-Mustaqbal movement is against the Maarab agreement.”

“Hizbullah is also against the Maarab agreement and days ago (Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh) Naim Qassem said that his party is committed to its allies, not to 'the allies of its allies',” Geagea went on to say.

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid “Jumblat is also against the Maarab agreement but he is smarter than them and we agreed with him in all towns in Upper Metn, Chouf and Aley and we had no problems,” the LF chief said.

Commenting on the strained relation with al-Mustaqbal, Geagea reminded that “after the North's elections, Future TV started its news bulletin by saying that the municipal polls had crowned (Telecom Minister Butros) Harb as a king over Tannourine.”

“Sixty percent of voters in Tannourine are members of the Harb family and yet we managed to grab 40% of the vote,” Geagea added, referring to the LF-FPM alliance.


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