Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun told al-Akhbar daily in an interview published on Thursday that he would hold unconditional talks with his rival Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea when he returns from his visit to Saudi Arabia but refused to give up his candidacy for the presidential poststressing that no one can tell him “I don’t want you”.
Aoun, 81 who heads the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, did not confirm whether the talks between him and Geagea have an agenda.
“I will tell him what I’ve got if we meet,” the former general said.
The MP hoped that the differences between the rival Christian parties on the presidential post would dissipate when the meeting between him and Geagea takes place.
“We will definitely deal with the presidential file but it will be one of the topics” of discussion, he stated.
Asked whether he and Geagea could agree on a third candidate to fill the vacuum at Baabda Palace, Aoun said: “No one can come and tell me ‘I don’t want you’.”
“We could disagree on the presidency but agree on other things,” he said.
“I am a candidate and I will not vote for anyone or give up (my candidacy) to anyone,” he stressed.
“I will not approve any president for many reasons,” Aoun said. “I want a Republic and not president.”
“I don’t want a Republic without a Constitution, laws and institutions,” he added.
Aoun accused the March 14 alliance of paralyzingly the presidential elections, saying it wants to “impose” a president on the rest of the Lebanese.
The Lebanese parliament failed on Dec 10 and and for the 16th time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25.
As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the sessions.
Speaker Nabih Berri postponed toto Jan. 7 , 2015 Lebanon’s presidential election