Lebanon: Aoun’s candidacy for President ‘confirmed’ ahead of Monday parliament session

Published October 25th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT
Lebanon's parliament is expected to hold an electoral session on Monday. (AFP/File)
Lebanon's parliament is expected to hold an electoral session on Monday. (AFP/File)

Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Alain Aoun said that the election of bloc leader, MP Michel Aoun, as the new Lebanese president “is definite."

“The preparations for Monday's electoral session are finished,” he told VDL (100.5) in an interview and stressed that the “channels between Rabieh and Bnachii (Marada Movement) were currently closed.”

A parliament session to elect a president is scheduled on October 31.

As for Speaker Nabih Berri's position who declared rejection with regard to the election of Michel Aoun as president, the lawmaker told VDL that the results of Hizbullah's efforts in this regard will show during Monday's electoral session.

“Berri's place is well-reserved in the national unity formula, and no one can take it away from him,” he added.

“Postponing the presidential election session is not possible, and any step that might alleviate standing issues before the electoral session is highly welcome,” Alain Aoun said in response to a question about the possibility of holding a dialogue session prior to the electoral one.

Aoun was tipped to become president after al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri formally endorsed him on Thursday.

A parliament session to elect a president is scheduled at the end of October, following several previous similar meetings that failed to achieve quorum.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hezbollah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Hariri had launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Hezbollah's ally and Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hezbollah.

The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid have argued that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.


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