Report: Hariri Upset with Fatfat Who Goes Alone to Binding Consultations

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Mustaqbal MP Ahmed Fatfat has asked to go alone to the binding parliamentary consultations to name a premier, and will not accompany the Mustaqbal bloc MPs to the presidential palace, al-Akhbar daily reported on Wednesday.

“Fatfat is taking this measure because he did not support the bloc's decision to nominate Aoun for the post of president,” sources close to Fatfat told the daily.

Aoun was elected president on Monday after around two and a half years of presidential void. His presidential chances were largely boosted by a key endorsement from Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri in mid-October.

The sources denied rumors alleging that Hariri has distanced Fatfat from the alliance for his failure to commit to a decision to vote for Aoun. They assured that the two men had a “friendly” telephone conversation on Tuesday.

On the reason that made Fatfat leave the Mustaqbal ranks despite the fact that other Mustaqbal MPs including head of the bloc Fouad Saniora and MPs Mohammed Qabbani, Farid Makari, Ammar Houri and Samir al-Jisr have also refrained from voting in favor of Aoun, the sources preferred to keep the reason undisclosed.

However, well-informed Mustaqbal sources told the daily that distancing Fatfat came after a “direct request from Hariri, who is very upset with the MPs actions, statements and his lack of commitment to the bloc's decision.”

In October, Hariri formally endorsed Aoun for the post of president in a speech that he delivered from the Center House which Fatfat failed to attend because he did not support Hariri's decision.

The binding consultations with elected President Michel Aoun for the designation of a new premier kicked off on Wednesday and will continue on Thursday at the Baabda palace.

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