Report: March 8 Divided on Aoun’s Presidential Choices


The March 8 alliance is divided on the candidacy of Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun for the presidency, the Kuwaiti al-Anba daily reported on Friday.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that some March 8 members, including Hizbullah, are hoping Aoun would decide to give up his bid for the presidency.

They said others want to give him more chances to try out his luck in the coming few weeks.

Aoun hasn’t officially announced his candidacy. But the lawmakers of his Change and Reform bloc and the rest of the March 8 MPs cast blank ballots in the first round of the election.

They later pulled out of the session, resulting in lack of quorum.

March 8 lawmakers, except for Speaker Nabih Berri’s bloc, also boycotted the second round of elections on Wednesday.

Their move is aimed at sending a strong message of protest to the candidacy of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, who is backed by their foes in the March 14 alliance.

Aoun is currently negotiating with al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri to be approved as a consensual candidate. He and his supporters claim that only a president, who has garnered the support of all parties, would be able to rule.

Al-Anba’s sources expressed fears that there would a vacuum in the country’s top Christian post if the parliament failed to elect a new head of state by May 25 to succeed President Michel Suleiman.


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