Geagea vows to prevent election of a Hezbollah- backed president

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FILE PHOTO: Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces

The leader of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, has rejected the election of a president from the so-called pro-Hezbollah March 8 Alliance, saying that his bloc might boycott the sessions to name a president to prevent the nomination of a candidate from the “Axis of Resistance.”

Geagea said that he is a “candidate for the presidency” but that his bid would only be valid if opposition MPs agreed to run a single candidate of their own.

Speaking at a press conference at his residence in Maarab on the presidential elections scheduled for next September, within the constitutional 60-day period to elect the head of state before President Michel Aoun’s term expires, Geagea said: “we must elect a president capable of addressing the crisis and not avoiding it.”

He added that Hezbollah is the leading actor behind the crisis in Lebanon, which confiscated the state’s strategic decision-making.

“The main factors that have brought upon us the current crisis are the confiscation of the state’s strategic decisions, mismanagement, and corruption. It is also directly responsible for mismanagement through smuggling, for example, and through its alliance with the corrupt (individuals) in the country to cover its actions.”

Geagea indicated that the presidential election should be the first step on the path to salvation, otherwise, the country will face the worst.

According to Geagea, the presidential elections include four possibilities: an opposition candidate or a candidate backed by the Axis of Resistance gets elected, warning that Lebanon will be isolated and lose all investments and international and Arab support.

He added that the third possibility is “a consensual President” who would “extend the hell we are living into six more years.”

The fourth option, asserted Geagea, is having a reformist president, stressing that “the opposition groups are the only ones capable of bringing such president” to power.

Geagea addressed the opposition and the independents, saying: “the ball is in our court [..] and we must form a coordination committee that will discuss the president who meets all the requirements.”

He addressed the 67 opposition lawmakers, urging them to discuss the coordination committee required to agree on a single name for the presidency.

Geagea said Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun refuses to discuss the presidency.

Geagea has long criticized the March 8 team’s disruption of the presidential election sessions in 2016, which led to naming President Michel Aoun.

Asharq Al-Awsat