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Geagea calls for  changing the politiciansLebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea urged the Lebanese people to hold the politicians accountable for the deadlock the country is facing and to elect new ones in order to change the status quo.

“The decision is in the hands of Lebanese citizens. Either they rise against the political establishment and hold the politicians accountable for the current impasse , or they can keep them and preserve the status quo,” Geagea said Friday night about the current impasse during a dinner for LF bankers.

“The choice is yours, and I hope you make the right choice in the elections so that we can achieve all our goals,” Geagea said in addressing the Lebanese people.

“Each citizen must therefore carefully consider the situation and rectify it at the first democratic opportunity he or she gets, such as the parliamentary elections,” added the LF chief.

“Those obstructing political life must be kicked out of the parliament because they are hindering democracy, state institutions, and the interests of the people,” he stressed.

The Lebanese lawmakers failed again July 2 to elect a president on , for the eighth time, to succeed president Suleiman , prolonging a political vacuum as the country struggles with violence, economic decline and an influx of Syrian refugees.

After Geagea secured 48 votes last April 23, the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance including FPM leader Michel Aoun and Marada leader Suleiman 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 7 other sessions that followed .

Both Aoun and Franjieh boycotted also the July 2 session.

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 last month.

The civil war in neighbouring Syria has aggravated long-standing rivalries in Lebanon, where political power is divided among religious communities – the presidency goes to a Maronite Christian, the parliament speaker is a Shi’ite Muslim and the prime minister a Sunni.

Some of Lebanon’s deepest political divisions come over the handling of the Syrian crisis, which has driven over 1 million refugees into Lebanon.

Politicians from the March 8 coalition, which includes Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rival March 14 coalition backs Assad’s opponents.

The deadlock comes at a time of worsening security. Three suicide bomb attacks late last month targeted Beirut and a checkpoint on the road to Syria. The Syrian crisis and the political stalemate have also hit the Lebanese economy, prompting the central bank to introduce stimulus packages.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s government has taken over some presidential duties until a new president is chosen.

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