Gemayel Reiterates Refusal to Vote for Presidential Candidate Endorsing 'March 8 Project'


Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel reiterated Wednesday that his party cannot vote for any presidential candidate endorsing the March 8 camp's political vision for the country.

“We refuse to vote for any candidate endorsing March 8's project,” said Gemayel when asked during an MTV interview about reports that he supports the nomination of Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh.

As for the nomination of Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun, Gemayel called on the head of the Change and Reform bloc to “return to his 2005 stances.”

“We must all return to our roots. We belong to the school of the Lebanese Front, the school of nonnegotiable sovereignty,” Gemayel added.

“Should Aoun or Franjieh commit to the principles that we are calling for, we would support any of them, but if they keep covering up for Hizbullah's project in Lebanon we won't elect any of them, because that would contradict with our history and struggle and with what our martyrs died for,” the Kataeb chief stressed.

“National sovereignty is not a small detail in political life,” he underlined.

Commenting on the rapprochement agreement between the FPM and the Lebanese Forces, Gemayel said: “Does (Lebanese Forces leader) Dr. (Samir) Geagea approve of Hizbullah's attempt to impose things on the Lebanese? MP Mohammed Raad has said that Hizbullah wants Aoun as president because the General shares Hizbullah's vision for Lebanon's sovereignty.”

“Before the FPM and the LF take to the streets, let them first agree on the same electoral law,” Gemayel added when asked about possible street protests by the two parties over the issue of Christian-Muslim partnership.

“We must choose a competent candidate for the presidency who is not one of the top four Maronite leaders,” Gemayel added, referring to Aoun, Franjieh, Geagea and former Kataeb chief Amin Gemayel.

“We want a president who can neutralize Lebanon in the Sunni-Shiite conflict and who would reject dragging Lebanon into regional conflicts,” he went on to say.

And admitting that Aoun “represents half of the Christians,” Gemayel emphasized that “he cannot impose himself as president.”

“Aoun is the head of a large bloc but he must abide by the Lebanese principles of sovereignty.”

As for the FPM's planned escalation over claims that the other parties in the country are not respecting the 1943 National Pact, Gemayel added: “You cannot speak of the National Pact while you are blocking the election of a president, seeing as respect for the National Pact starts with the election of a president.”

“The second condition for achieving partnership is devising an electoral law while the first condition is the election of a president,” he said.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri, who is close to Saudi Arabia, launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.

The ex-PM's move prompted Geagea to endorse the nomination of Aoun, his long-time Christian rival, after months of political rapprochement talks between the two parties.

The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid argue that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.

Comments 2
Missing humble 22 September 2016, 01:25

You are absolutely right. Stand firm.
We need honest, competent, and patriot candidate with a clear loyalty to Lebanon only.

Default-user-icon Lillo (Guest) 22 September 2016, 02:43

Lets go for Riad Salameh