Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea praised the recent initiative undertaken by former Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri which was intended to be a road map for ending the country’s ongoing political impasse.
In an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper that was published on Sunday, Geagea commended Hariri’s initiative, saying his party was ready for any serious discussions on the presidential race.
Geagea reiterated his willingness to withdraw his candidacy for the Lebanese presidency if a replacement with similar values was found,.
“I have said on several occasions that I am prepared to [withdraw] on the condition that we find a person who has a bare minimum of the convictions in which we believe.”
He added: “ But if I withdraw now , Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun will remain a candidate and we will be asked to support him as president. We are not prepared to do that .” He added
Commenting on Hariri’s road map he said that both share the same stance .
“Hariri’s stance is one of principle and I have launched [the same position] in my initiative; we are prepared for any serious discussion on completing the presidential elections.”
Hariri proposed Friday in a televised speech a “roadmap” aimed at protecting Lebanon from the unrest taking place in neighboring Syria.
“Electing a president is the core issue for ending the (political) vacuum and for developing a solution to the current crisis,” Hariri said .
The former premier said the roadmap also includes “withdrawal of Hezbollah from the Syrian war, preparation of a national plan to confront terrorism in all its forms, agreement on an official emergency plan to face the Syrian refugee crisis, and doing everything possible to prevent Lebanon from drowning in the repercussions of the Syrian crisis.”
“The roadmap to protect Lebanon consists of forming a new cabinet similar to the current one, that would handle, with the new president, management of the current situation and the holding of the parliamentary elections.” Hariri added.
The former PM also rejected the extension of parliament’s term :
“holding parliamentary elections with no president indicates an automatically resigned cabinet and the impossibility of forming a new one.”
Lebanon has had no president since May 25, when Michel Suleiman’s mandate expired.
The Lebanese parliament has failed eight times in row to elect a president, each time unable to reach a quorum as March 8 parliamentarians affiliated with Hezbollah and Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc have boycotted the sessions.
In his televised speech Hariri was very critical of Hezbollah’s participation in Syria’s conflict , which critics say has sucked Lebanon further into their larger neighbour’s quagmire.
“Unfortunately Hezbollah believes that it will save the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The truth is no one can save Assad’s regime,” he said.