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rai w geagea gemayel aoun franjiehLebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has said that Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai prefers a strong presidential candidate and will not veto anyone

In remarks to al-Liwaa newspaper published on Friday, Geagea said : “Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rai does not impose a veto on any presidential candidates, ” adding that his ties with Bkirki were excellent and that he was in continuous contact with al-Rai.

“Consequently, he does not back any specific candidate but he prefers a strong Christian president and hopes for the presidential elections to be held on time to avoid any vacuum.” he stressed.

The mandate of President Michel Suleiman is due to expire in May 2014 and the president has reiterated that he was opposed to any extension of his term.

Al-Liwaa said that al-Rai was keen on staying at an equal distance from all possible candidates.

Geagea recently said that he hadn’t decided on his candidacy for the presidential elections, saying that he will discuss it in due time with his allies and the Lebanese Forces executive body.

According to the daily the expected candidates are in addition to Geagea, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh, the Phalange party leader and former president Amin Gemayel.

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