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The Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) – headed by MP Walid Jumblatt – denied reports that it had informed its student supporters to depart Beirut.

An unnamed PSP official said that his party is not behind text messages sent to students asking them to leave the Lebanese capital, the PSP official website said.

“There is no need for panic or for halting school… normal activity of students should resume.”

in a related development Jumblatt has reportedly decided to back the opposition PM candidate.

Jumblatt has reportedly informed concerned officials in the Future movement that he is being subjected to great pressures against naming Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri as the premier of a new government, knowing that he had previously informed Hariri that he would be naming him. He will now name former Lebanese prime minister Omar Karami in place of Hariri.

Jumblatt reportedly informed his circles that the policy of insisting on Hariri as the new prime minister will lead to “catastrophic consequences” on the security field, on him personally, PSP members, and the Druze in the Shouf, Alley, Hasbaya, and the western Bekaa.

According to Ya Libnan correspondent in the Shouf area this switch of position by Jumblatt amounts to a political suicide. Several members of his parliamentary bloc are elected in Sunni-majority districts and around 30 percent of the electorate in the Chouf is Sunni. Ya Libnan correspondent added that the maximum number of votes that Jumblatt can deliver is 6 ( out of 11) and this will still not guarantee success for the Hezbollah-led opposition candidate , unless other MPs of other parliamentary blocs switch too.

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