Hezbollah official Hussein Khalil said on Saturday that the party’s lawmakers will only attend the parliament session aimed at electing a president next week if an agreement is reached to elect its candidate the founder of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun for the post. In other words Hezbollah and its allies will continue to boycott the parliament sessions to make sure there is no quorum to elect a president
“When an agreement is reached on the election of Gen. Aoun as president, then we will be the first to arrive at the parliament to elect him,” said Khalil after a meeting with Aoun.
A Hezbollah delegation visited Aoun marking ten years since the party and the FPM signed their Memorandum of Understanding.
The visit comes as the battle for the top post heats up ahead of a parliament session next week aimed at filling the 20-month vacuum.
“A delegation from Hezbollah visited Rabieh today to meet with the Change and Reform bloc head MP Michel Aoun,” said al-Joumhouria.
The delegation is comprised of Hezbollah leader’s political assistant Hussein Khalil, Hezbollah’s top security official Wafiq Safa, Industry Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan and politburo members Mahmoud Qmati and Moustafa Hajj Ali, added the daily.
Reports have said that extensive meetings will be held in the next two days between Hezbollah, Aoun and the March 8 camp allies to take the appropriate decision ahead of Monday’s meeting.
The 35th parliament session has been scheduled for February 8 to elect a successor to form, President Michel Suleiman whose term ended in May 2014,
Aoun, Marada leader MP Suleiman Franjieh are the two main candidates for the post. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said last week that neither Hezbollah MPs nor Aoun’s MPs will participate in the parliament session since it cannot guarantee to get Aoun to the Baabda presidential palace .
Former Lebanese PM and Future Movement chief Saad Hariri , PSP Chief MP Walid Jumblatt and Speaker Nabih Berri decided to back Franjieh for the presidential post . Franjieh claims he has 70 votes out 127 . The total number of MPs is 128 but one member died and has not been replaced . Aoun disagrees , but refuses to go to the parliament to prove him wrong .
Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea who was the candidate of March 14 was upset about Hariri’s decision to back Franjieh and endorsed instead the nomination of Aoun, his long time rival.
Several analysts are of the opinion that Geagea’s endorsement of Aoun’s candidacy and Hariri’s endorsement Franjieh’s candidacy unmasked Hezbollah’s real intentions ; “Neither Iran nor Hezbollah want a president for Lebanon at this stage “the analysts asserted.
Al Anbaa newspaper reported that Aoun dispatched today his top media official Jean Aziz to Tehran to discuss the presidential issue and will be dispatching Monday his son-in-law Lebanese Foreign minister Gebran Bassil to Europe to campaign for his presidential candidacy