Does Bassil intend to run for presidency?
Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil will announce his presidential nomination on Tuesday and will declare “rebellion” against caretaker PM Najib Mikati and the boycott of Speaker Nabih Berri’s dialogue, senior FPM official Naji Hayek said overnight.
Sources following up on Bassil’s political movements meanwhile told Nidaa al-Watan newspaper that he intends to take steps to “pressure” and “embarrass” Hezbollah by telling it, “Either I am your presidential candidate or no one will be.”
In recent days, President Michel Aoun had told Reuters that the U.S. sanctions do not prevent Bassil from running for president. "Once he's elected (as president), the sanctions will go away," Aoun said, without elaborating.
The sources said Aoun’s remarks are “a message address to Hezbollah to push it to endorse Bassil’s nomination, as a price that Hezbollah should pay in return for Bassil being under U.S. sanctions due to his alliance with it.”