Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh will reportedly withdraw his candidacy for the presidential post in favor of founder of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun, As Safir daily reported on Saturday.
Franjieh reportedly told French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that he is ready to withdraw his nomination in favor of Aoun if Lebanon’s interest requires that, according to the daily.
Former Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate the Marada chief for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country’s main Christian parties as well as Hezbollah.
The Lebanese parliament failed again earlier this month and and for the 42nd 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 MPs boycotted the session, because they could not reportedly guarantee Aoun’s election as a president.
Amal Movement leader, Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to August 8, 2016.
The Future Movement slammed accusations fired by Hezbollah MP Nawaf Mousawi that blamed the Movement and Saudi Arabia for obstructing the election of a head of state, As-Sharq daily reported on Tuesday.
The Future Movement urged Hezbollah last week to attend next parliament session ‘if it truly wants Aoun’.
“If Hezbollah is honest in its intention to elect (MP Michel) Aoun, let them take part in the parliament session slated for August 8 (and prove that),” a source was quoted as saying by As Safir .
Many observers are of the opinion that neither Iran nor its proxy Hezbollah want Lebanon to have a president as long as the war in Syria continues to rage. The observers also believe that if Hezbollah truly wants a president it is so easy for its chief Hassan Nasrallah to pick up the phone and tell Franjieh to withdraw and order Berri to vote for Aoun. The observers maintain the opinion that whoever gets elected ( Aoun or Franjieh) Nasrallah will be the defacto president