Michel Suleiman
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Bassil Warns FPM Ready to Topple Political System, Cabinet

The Free Patriotic Movement is ready to topple the country's political system in an attempt to survive and could resort to the option of bringing down the cabinet, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has said.

“We are ready to abandon the system,” Bassil said, adding the FPM's rivals “are neither implementing it nor accepting us to be part of it.”

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Sources Say Lebanese Firm Tasked with Carrying Out Presidential Survey

A Lebanese polling and research firm has been tasked with carrying out a survey proposed by the Free Patriotic Movement to help ease the presidential deadlock, al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported on Monday.

Sources told the daily that Statistics Lebanon, which was established in 1994, will ask a sample of 4,600 Christians who their candidate for the presidency is.

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Franjieh Backs FPM-LF Survey as Gemayel Voices Remarks

Change and Reform bloc secretary MP Ibrahim Kanaan held talks Monday with the main Christian parties in a bid to clinch their support for Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun's proposal on carrying out a survey to determine which Christian party or parties are influential in the country.

Following a meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in Maarab, Kanaan said the LF chief reiterated to him “his support for organizing the survey.”

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Rahi Urges Rivals to Elect President to Stop Country from 'Dying'

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi urged the rival March 8 and 14 alliances on Thursday to officially announce the name of their presidential candidates and elect a new head of state.

“It is a shame that the presidential vacuum crossed the one-year mark,” al-Rahi told a delegation from the Maronite League that visited him in Bkirki.

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Hollande's Envoy in Beirut Soon over Presidential Crisis

French President Francois Hollande's envoy is expected to visit Beirut in the coming weeks in an effort to revive France's efforts to resolve the Lebanese presidential deadlock.

An Nahar daily on Thursday quoted ministerial sources as saying that the Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, Jean-François Girault, will visit Beirut at the end of the month or in early July.

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Banks to Take Part in Economic Committees' Movement but SCC Boycotts

The head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Francois Bassil, has said the ABL will participate in a conference organized by the Economic Committees on Thursday to shed light on the severe repercussions of the political crisis on the country's economy.

Bassil told An Nahar daily published Wednesday that although the banking sector is functioning properly, the ABL will take part in the conference that will be held in BIEL.

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Report: Christians to Activate Contacts to Develop Declaration of Intent

Contacts between Bkirki and officials from the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Marada Movement are expected to be activated this week in an attempt to resolve the presidential deadlock.

An Nahar daily said Wednesday that Change and Reform bloc MP Ibrahim Kanaan is planning to hold separate talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, LF chief Samir Geagea and Marada leader MP Suleiman Franjieh.

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Cabinet Session Looming on the Horizon

Prime Minister Tammam Salam is setting the agenda of a cabinet session that he intends to chair next week following an agreement with Speaker Nabih Berri, An Nahar daily reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper said that Salam's move comes amid the launching of consultations to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session.

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EU Urges 'Decisive Action' to Elect New President

EU foreign ministers have “strongly” reiterated their call on all the rival political parties to “take decisive action” to elect a new president and put Lebanon's stability and national interest ahead of partisan politics.

“The EU restates its call to all members of the parliament to uphold Lebanon's long-standing democratic tradition and to convene to elect a president without further delay in line with the Constitution,” the ministers said on Monday following a meeting they held in Luxembourg.

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Berri Says 'Either Me or No One Else' Does Not Serve Lebanon

Speaker Nabih Berri has stressed that the legislative and executive powers will enjoy the needed quorum if they convene, saying the policy of either my way or nothing is not in Lebanon's favor.

Berri told officials who visited him in Ain el-Tineh on Sunday that there was no initiative yet to resolve Lebanon’s political crises “because some parties continue to hold onto their stances.”

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