Russia is reportedly backing the election of Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh as president, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Saturday.
Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin reportedly relayed this stance to the lawmaker, a diplomatic source told the daily.
This position reportedly outraged Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun and prompted him to cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow.
Aoun is Hezbollah’s presidential nominee, while Franjieh is the nominee of former Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri .
Both Aoun and Franjieh are members of the Hezbollah led march 8 alliance , but Harairi reportedly decided to nominate Franjieh to end the political vacuum in Lebanon
Al-Liwaa revealed that Franjieh had recently telephoned Hariri to thank him for his recent political stands .
Hezbollah announced that it would boycott electoral sessions unless it has guarantees that its candidate Aoun will be elected president.
The Lebanese parliament failed again on March 2nd and for the 36th time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 , 2014.
As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc lawmakers boycotted the session, because they could not guarantee Aoun’s election as a president
Speaker Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to March 23, 2016.
Berri sounded optimistic yesterday about the election of a president and has reportedly been holding contacts with Hezbollah to persuade it to attend the March 23, 2016 electoral session.
Like Hezbollah , Russia is backing the Syrian regime . Franjieh is also a stanch ally of the embattled Syrian president Bashar al Assad .
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