Report: Aoun Won’t Attend Election Session, his MPs to Cast Blank Votes

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The Change and Reform Bloc is expected to attend the parliamentary session on the presidential election on Wednesday without its leader MP Michel Aoun amid a tendency to cast so-called blank votes.

Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted Change and Reform sources as saying that Aoun would decide on the move during the bloc’s weekly meeting on Tuesday.

His lawmakers and their allies in the March 8 alliance are expected to cast white votes to protest the candidacy of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.

The protest votes would be 56 or 57 if the three Tripoli MPs join them, exceeding the votes that Geagea would get from his March 14 alliance by one or two, al-Hayat said.

The Tripoli MPs – former Premier Najib Miqati and former Ministers Mohammed al-Safadi and Ahmed Karami – could resort to another option to vote for the candidate of Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, the daily said.

Reports have said that Jumblat, who heads the centrist National Struggle Front bloc, would on Tuesday announce the candidacy of his bloc member MP Henri Helou.

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