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geagea presidential campaign 2Lebanese Forces’ leader Samir Geagea announced on Monday that the  MPs of the Lebanese Forces’ Strong Republic bloc will not for Nabih Berri  as the new parliament Speaker and will instead cast blank ballots in the vote.

Geagea noted, however, that MP-elect Qaysar al-Maalouf will not abide by the bloc’s decision.

“This is a continuation of the party’s historic stance in this regard,” Geagea said after a meeting for the LF’s new parliamentary bloc.

“Everyone knows how much we respect Speaker Nabih Berri and how we agree with him on several issues, that’s why our blank vote is not against Speaker Berri but rather in line with our strategic stance,” the LF leader explained.

He also announced the bloc’s nomination of its member Anis Nassar for the deputy speaker post, urging all other blocs to “vote for Nassar given what he represents at the political level.”

The Strong Republic bloc also decided to “unanimously endorse PM (Saad) Hariri for the premiership of the new government.”

Geagea revealed  that the LF has not coordinated its stance on the blank ballots with the Free Patriotic Movement  which has been at odds with  Berri for several months .

Relations have been  strained between Berri and FPM chief Gebran Bassil over  the latter’s “thug” remarks, which ignited a series of clashing positions between the two men.

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