Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Tuesday that the number one person responsible for not electing FPM founder MP Michel Aoun as the Lebanese president is Aoun himself, As Safir daily reported on Tuesday.
“Aoun’s behavior led many to distrust him and his intentions and refrain from supporting him. I had to reschedule the parliamentary session for presidential elections several times at Aoun’s request. He should have facilitated the path to the presidency in order to earn the confidence of others. Instead he suspended participation in the national dialogue, disrupted the parliament by refusing to recognize its legitimacy , boycotted the government and refused to allow his ministers to sign bills approved by the cabinet and has been boycotting all the presidential election sessions . Despite all of this he is still demanding that people should stand by him . The number one person responsible for not electing Aoun as the Lebanese president is Aoun himself. ”
Everyone has reservations about, or rejected the nomination of Aoun for the post of presidency, As Safir added.
“The political figures that former Lebanese PM and Future Movement chief Saad Hariri has met during his consultations have either rejected or expressed reservations about the election of General (Aoun),” Berri told the daily.
“I know what I am saying and I am certain about each word when I say ‘all of them,’” he went on to say.
The Lebanese parliament failed again on September 28th and for the 45th 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 Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to October 31st.
Aoun and Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Frangieh are the 2 main candidates for president and both are key members of the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance
Aoun is backed by Hezbollah and the Lebanese Forces, while Frangieh is mainly supported by the Future Movement, the Amal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party.
Both Hezbollah and the LF have reportedly attempted to convince Hariri to relinquish support for Frangieh and instead endorse Aoun, which they say is the only way to end the presidential vacancy.
Since his arrival to Beirut , Hariri has kicked off a series of consultations with top leaders in a bid to end the presidential vacuum, but has not declared any change in his choice for candidate so far.
Frangieh told Hariri during their latest meeting that he will not withdraw from the presidential race in favor of Aoun and that he would only make such a move if there is an agreement on a third candidate, a media report said on Sunday.
“Frangieh reminded Hariri that they had agreed that he would only withdraw from the presidential race in favor of a third candidate and not in favor of Aoun,” al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted informed sources as saying.