Aoun to withdraw presidential candidacy if law for Christians is agreed
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun will reportedly propose an indirect initiative where he would “give up his right” to become a president in return for the adoption of a new electoral law that better represents Christians.
According to the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat published on Sunday, Aoun's circles said that he informed the concerned parties that he “is not clinging to the presidential post” as long as there would be an agreement of a new electoral law.
“He is demanding the treatment of Christians equally and the best way would be by staging parliamentary polls according to a law that better represents Christians,” sources told the newspaper.
Lebanon will enter on August 20 a deadline to agree on a new electoral law ahead of the November elections.
However, the daily reported that the March 14 alliance will most-likely reject Aoun's initiative.
Speaker Nabih Berri rejects the staging of parliamentary elections ahead of presidential poll.
In May 2013, the parliament voted to extend its own mandate for 17 months after the rival political parties failed to reach a new electoral law.
Around 100 MPs from all blocs, except the Change and Reform bloc, voted to extend parliament's term until November 20, 2014.
Aoun's Change and Reform bloc MP Hikmat Deeb refused in comments to Asharq al-Awsat “any rumors about a bargain concerning the presidential elections.”
“The bloc's proposal is a roadmap that would allow the agreement on a new balanced electoral law, which better represents the Lebanese, and the elections of a president who has the majority of votes.”
Lebanon has been plunged into a leadership vacuum after Michel Suleiman's presidential term ended on May 25 with rival political blocs still divided over a new leader.
The parliament convened nine times to try to elect a successor to Suleiman but failed during the last eight sessions due to a lack of quorum.