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franjieh readyMaraud Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh , a close ally of Syrian president Bashar al Assad told NBN television on Wednesday that no president can be elected to lead Lebanon without Assad’s approval.

Franjieh a key member of the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance stressed during the interview : “There [will be] no president in Lebanon that Assad is not satisfied with.”

He also asserted that Assad favors the election of Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun as the new lebanese president

“Assad [would] rejoice at Aoun’s [election] and he has announced that.” Franjieh said.

Meanwhile, the Marada chief announced that he would put himself forward as a candidate for the presidency if Aoun decides to withdraw his bid.

Franjieh’s comments come hours after the Lebanese parliament failed for the seventh time in a row to hold a session to elect the country’s new president to replace Michel Suleiman whose terms ended on May 25.

As in the previous sessions , the vote could not be held as lawmakers allied with the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group boycotted the voting for lack of agreement on a consensus president.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned the session to elect a new president to July 2 .

There are serious concerns that a prolonged vacuum at the Baabda presidential place would affect Lebanon’s power-sharing system under which the president should be a Christian Maronite, the speaker a Shiite and the PM a Sunni.

Both Aoun and Franjieh boycotted todays’ session too.

franjieh assad
Maraud Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh (L) , a close ally of Syrian president Bashar al Assad (R) told NBN television on Wednesday that no president can be elected to lead Lebanon without Assad’s approval.

Aoun has not announced his candidacy but he aspires to become a consensual nominee
“I will announce my nomination when the political situation in parliament becomes clear and when (the current candidates) are dismissed,” Aoun said on Tuesday.

“It is totally rejected to choose the weakest Christian as president and I will not tolerate this,” he said in reference to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea without naming him.

“I’m the strongest and I’m the one who represents (the Christians). My popularity is on the rise,” he added.

Despite his claims, Aoun’s rivals in the March 14 camp have refused to withdraw their support for Geagea, who was the first to announce his candidacy.

Yesterday Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali voiced his support for Aoun for presidency.

“As long as the coalition that is close to our political line supports Aoun, then we too consider Aoun to be a friend of Syria’s, who believed in Syria’s victory over the crisis.”

He ruled out the possibility of Geagea becoming the president .

“We will certainly not even consider the possibility of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea’s arrival to the presidency, I do not think that this is [even] possible. Geagea never was and never will be our presidential candidate,” he added.

The Lebanese parliament failed for the seventh time in a row to hold a session to elect the country’s new president to replace Michel Suleiman whose terms ended on May 25.
As in the previous sessions , the vote could not be held as lawmakers allied with the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group boycotted the voting for lack of agreement on a consensus president.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned the session to elect a new president to July 2 .

There are serious concerns that a prolonged vacuum at the Baabda presidential place would affect Lebanon’s power-sharing system under which the president should be a Christian Maronite, the speaker a Shiite and the PM a Sunni.

According to Bkirki sources the top 4 Maronite leaders( FPM leader Michel Aoun, Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh, Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea ) agreed last March to facilitate the election of the president .

After Geagea secured 48 votes last April 23, the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance including Aoun and Franjieh walked out from the parliament to make sure there was no quorum to elect a president. They continued their boycott of the parliament during the 5 other sessions that followed .

Both Aoun and Franjieh boycotted todays’ session too.

Aoun has not announced his candidacy but he aspires to become a consensual nominee
“I will announce my nomination when the political situation in parliament becomes clear and when (the current candidates) are dismissed,” Aoun said on Tuesday.

“It is totally rejected to choose the weakest Christian as president and I will not tolerate this,” he said in reference Geagea without naming him.

“I’m the strongest and I’m the one who represents (the Christians). My popularity is on the rise,” he added.

Despite his claims, Aoun’s rivals in the March 14 camp have refused to withdraw their support for Geagea, who was the first to announce his candidacy.

Yesterday Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali voiced his support for Aoun for presidency.

“As long as the coalition that is close to our political line supports Aoun, then we too consider Aoun to be a friend of Syria’s, who believed in Syria’s victory over the crisis.”

He ruled out the possibility of Geagea becoming the president .

“We will certainly not even consider the possibility of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea’s arrival to the presidency, I do not think that this is [even] possible. Geagea never was and never will be our presidential candidate,” he added.

This development comes days after Assad threw his support behind Aoun’s candidacy describing him as an “honest man,” and saying he would welcome his election as the next Lebanese president.

“We welcome Aoun’s election as a president for being in Lebanon’s interest and in the interest of friendly ties,” he stressed

The FPM chief is “patriotic, non confessional and believes in the resistance,” Assad added.

Assad’s endorsement of Aoun came days after the FPM leader was quoted by Al Joumhouria newspaper as saying that Assad deserves a Nobel prize for combating terrorism.

Aoun has not announced his candidacy but he aspires to become a consensual nominee and has reportedly been waiting for former PM Saad Hariri to endorse him , but so far the Future Movement leader along with his March 14 allies are sticking with Geagea.

Geagea challenged Aoun to run against him or move on to plan B which calls for agreeing on a consensual candidate, Lebanese media reported last month.

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