Geagea: March 8 Elections Boycott Aimed at Imposing its Candidate over Others

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Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea accused on Wednesday the March 8 alliance of seeking to impose its candidate over others, slamming its demand for the election of a consensual president.

He said during a press conference after the failure of the third round of the presidential elections: “The boycott of the session is not aimed at the election of a consensual president, but it has the objective to impose a candidate over others.”

Moreover, he noted that the alliance is seeking the election of a candidate that would serve its interests, not those of Lebanon.

He criticized the alliance’s boycott of the session, deeming it as unconstitutional.

Very few extraordinary conditions permit a boycott, none of which exist at the moment, Geagea said.

“Quorum at parliament is needed to organize the presidential elections, not obstruct it,” noted the presidential hopeful.

“Christians sense that there is a conspiracy being devised over their role in Lebanon, under the pretext of quorum and at other times under the pretext of electing a consensual president,” said that LF chief.

“The March 8 camp has never really adopted the concept of consensuality,” he remarked.

Failure to elect a president will further alienate Christians from the state, Geagea added.

He therefore urged religious authorities, especially the Maronite Patriarchate, to obligate all lawmakers, most notably Christian ones, to exercise their duties and elect a president.

Blackmailing the constitution will only leave Lebanon vulnerable and weak, he declared.

Furthermore, Geagea renewed his call on the March 8 camp to announce its presidential candidate, in order for the elections to be staged in a democratic manner.

Parliament failed on Wednesday for the third week in a row to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances, more than two weeks before the expiry of President Michel Suleiman’s tenure.

Speaker Nabih Berri set May 15 as a new round of voting after the March 8 lawmakers again boycotted the elections.

March 8 MPs and mainly members of MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc stressed that the elections would be held only if they became “serious.”

Aoun has repeatedly said that he would not announce his candidacy if there was no consensus on him.

“There wouldn’t have been any boycott if the presidential elections were serious,” MP Nabil Nicolas said.

March 14 MPs slammed this stance, warning that it may lead Lebanon to vacuum.

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