Bassil: We'll cast blank votes and we don't have presidential candidate until now

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil announced Wednesday that the FPM-led Strong Lebanon bloc will cast blank votes in a presidential election session scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday.

“We will take part in tomorrow’s session and will cast blank votes, because we don’t have any candidate whom we support until now,” Bassil said at a press conference.

“The bloc has prepared a paper that contains a difference approach for the presidential issue and we will talk about it next week,” he added.

As for the summoning of FPM lawmaker Charbel Maroun for judicial interrogation over his recent remarks against Higher Judicial Council chief Judge Suheil Abboud, Bassil announced that Maroun will not attend the interrogation session.

“We are all Charbel Maroun and we endorse what Charbel Maroun said… You can file lawsuits against us all,” the FPM chief added.

“Is it acceptable to file charges against an MP who enjoys parliamentary immunity?” Bassil asked.

“The law says MPs should not be prosecuted for voicing their opinions,” he added.

Lamenting that “no judge acted over the insults against the president of the republic, which are punishable by law,” Bassil said Judge Abboud “has not done what's necessary to reactivate the investigations into the port blast.”

Bassil also accused Abboud of “personally interfering with every judge to prevent them from taking decisions over the recusal requests,” adding that Abboud is also “refraining from appointing an alternate judge” who would exclusively look into requests for the release of some detainees in the case.

Maroun had lashed out at Abboud during a sit-in outside the latter’s house in Ballouneh. The sit-in was organized by families of detainees held in the Beirut port blast case.

During the protest, Maroun slammed Abboud as a “mafioso” and a number of judges as “criminals” while saying that “the judiciary is corrupt and a militia.”

Source: Naharnet

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