Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun was quoted by Al Joumhouria newspaper on Saturday as saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad deserves a Nobel prize for combating terrorism.
He added that he supports Assad “because he opposes his alternative.”
The Syrian regime usually refers to the mostly Sunni rebels who ware trying to topple the 40 year old Assad dictatorship as terrorists.
Commenting on the presidential election he was quoted as saying that he is the sole strong presidential candidate that should be voted as head of state, but blamed Sadi Arabia for standing in his way.
Aoun reportedly made his remarks during a meeting a few days ago with a delegation of Maronite institutions.
Trusted sources that took part in the meeting added that Aoun stated that discussions between the FPM and the Future Movement over the presidential elections will continue.
Aoun accused PSP leader MP Walid Jumblatt who nominated Aley MP Henri Helou for president of obstructing presidential elections sessions.”
Helou and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea are the only candidates who have submitted their nominations.
While The March 14 alliance continued to support Geagea who was the first to announce his candidacy with a workable program , March 8 rejected his candidacy without officially declaring which candidate they are willing to support. Aoun however has been saying that he will only run as a consensus candidate.
Geagea challenged Aoun to run against him or move on to plan B which calls for agreeing on a consensual candidate , Lebanese media reports on Thursday.
Geagea secured 48 votes out of the parliament 128 in the first round. Helou a distant second secured 16 votes. March 8 voted with blank ballots and decided to boycott the five sessions that followed which prevented the achievement of a quorum
The next session is scheduled for June 9.
President Michel Suleiman’s term ended last Sunday.
Hezbollah’s backing for Aoun already appears tepid at best, according to a report by Lebanon Wire. ” Aoun and his representatives have been meeting in recent months in Europe with March 14 leader and former PM Saad Hariri, purportedly to negotiate the coalition’s potential backing of Aoun’s candidacy. Any such arrangement would stipulate that the FPM reorient itself away from Hezbollah’s bloc. Yet this scenario is unlikely to transpire because March 14 — much like Hezbollah — distrusts Aoun.”