Berri says Maronite disaccord complicating presidential vote


Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri will not call for another "theatrical" session that would not elect a president.

In an interview with al-Akhbar newspaper, Berri said that he will try to break the impasse and that he will only call for a session when he senses that the parties are ready to elect, not to "waste time" and "make statements."

"Our candidate is known but their candidate is a test-tube experiment," Berri told al-Akhbar, in remarks published Thursday.

"The only two serious candidates are Franjieh and Army chief Joseph Aoun," the speaker went on to say, adding tat it is currently impossible to elect the army chief, because it needs a constitutional amendment that cannot be made within a caretaker cabinet.

The Shiite Duo MPs have cast blank votes during all the voting sessions, but their real presidential candidate is Marada leader, Suleiman Franjieh.

Like many of Lebanon's prominent political figures, Franjieh hails from a storied dynasty.

His grandfather and namesake was president when Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war broke out.

In 1978, his father, politician Tony Franjieh, along with his mother and sister, were murdered by rival Christian fighters while he was elsewhere in the country.

"We are trying to secure more votes for him," Berri said, explaining why the Duo hasn't officially voted for Franjieh yet. He added that the Duo is trying to convince Free Patriotic Movement leader Jebran Bassil to vote for Franjieh.

Franjieh, a former lawmaker and minister close to Hezbollah and a personal friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has not officially announced his candidacy, but said he was interested in the position.

His name had been touted for the presidency many times before but he never secured enough support to win.

Hezbollah and Amal back his candidacy, although Hezbollah's Christian ally the Free Patriotic Movement would not endorse him.

“The main problem in the presidential elections is inter-Maronite,” Berri said, accusing the Maronites of failing to agree on a president.

"Their disagreement is over who among them would be president," he went on to say. "They all know who they don't want to become president but are failing to agree on a president, so they get confused and further complicate the presidential election."

Comments 4
Thumb gebran_sons 02 March 2023, 14:50

Same old diabolic games. Duo creates intolerable situation via its bullies and proxies and then force their will pretending it is to save the situation. Which idiot believed that Mouawad is extremist but criminal Hizbollah is not. Enough of this cancer sucking the blood and life of Lebanese. We are witnessing a crime in broad daylight, a country being raped by the Basij, and not taking action is being complicit. Urgent to start cleaning Free lebanon from Useful Idiots Aoun/Bassil, Frangieh and SSNP so we can prepare the ground for a two-nations solution as nothing is left in common. Duo can have their Basij Hizbollastan and fight Israel for eternity; while Free Lebanon will restore its democracy, freedom, sovereignty, dignity and culture.

Missing un520 02 March 2023, 16:50

Its the marriage forced upon every shia-muslim to belong to Amal or Hezbollah that is complicating things.If they could have their free will, freedom of speech and choice things would look much better...

Thumb gebran_sons 02 March 2023, 18:19

Have no mistake, this is not Shia-Sunni-Shia division. If Duo supported democracy, freedom and independence and the rest supported Basij we would fervently support the Duo. In fact Iran Green Revolution is the twin of our Cedar Revolution as both have same principles. That is why Berri is a fraud abd another political prostitute knowing very well Hizballah would have killed reformer Moussa Sadr if he was alived today. In fact Free Lebanon may include Shia silent majority but none of Duo supporters or Basij aims. So let us be clear, it is not a sect nor corruption that led us to hell, but basij occupation by duo. No end of misery until we liberate Lebanon from Iranian occupation or dividing the country.

Missing samiam 03 March 2023, 07:14

"The only two serious candidates are Franjieh and Army chief Joseph Aoun"

The reason Franjea is being considered is because is kizb's/syria's man. He has been interviewed enough showing that he is not a smart person and is exactly the wrong type of presidential candidate for LEBANON.