Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea on Saturday said the recent student elections reflect the wide popularity and representation of the Lebanese Forces, as he hinted at Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil saying the “main goal of some is to curtail the LF representation.”
“The recent student elections gives us an idea of real popular representation of the LF. I wouldn’t talk if it wasn’t for the daily (political) cheating. Your excellency Minister Jebran Bassil if we shall talk about popular representation, this is the real representation and whoever has two ears let him listen,” said Geagea.
His remarks came during a meeting with a delegation of AUB, LAU and NDU University students who succeeded in the recent university student elections.
Geagea pointed out that his remarks “do not target the FPM youth, but do target Bassil” who incessantly undermines the LF representation.
“The main goal (of our opponents) is to undermine the representation of Lebanese Forces in the next government,” he added.
The Internal Security Forces had to intervene to break up a fight that broke out Wednesday at a Beirut university between supporters of Lebanon’s two biggest Christian parties, the Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement.
“There was a huge fight at around noon on campus and the police showed up pretty much right after that,” an eyewitness at Saint Joseph University’s Huvelin campus in Ashrafieh was reported as saying . “They’ve been out in the parking lot since then.”
The brawl seemed to be a result of a dispute that originated online in the lead up to USJ’s student council elections, scheduled for Oct. 27.
A campaign poster for LF students first circulated featuring an image of the party’s founder Bashir Gemayel, who was assassinated days before taking office as president in 1982. Then, an edited version – presumably made by an FPM supporter – went viral, with Gemayel’s killer Habib Shartouni pasted over the LF leader’s face.
That image was then shared on the Instagram account for USJ’s LF-affiliated students, with part of the long caption saying, “We are used to the insults of icons of the Lebanese resistance from Hezbollah, but today we were surprised that the FPM students stooped to this level.”
The photo led to verbal disputes among students on campus that escalated into a physical fight.
“This is the normal, like every year, right before the student elections,” one LF supporter at USJ told the local media
A member of the Syrian Socialist National Party, Shartouni was charged with Gemayel’s assassination at the time; however, he never stood trial once the case was transferred to the Judicial Council. Earlier this year, he was convicted in absentia and is believed to be hiding in Syria.