Qazzi Says Gemayel Suspended Candidacy Pending Results of Presidential Vote

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Labor Minister Sejaan Qazzi said that Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel has suspended his candidacy for the presidency pending the result of parliamentary sessions to elect a new head of state.

In remarks to the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah daily on Wednesday, Qazzi said: “Gemayel suspended his candidacy until he finds out the course that the election sessions would take.”

Parliament is scheduled to hold a third round of elections on Wednesday. But the session will face the same of its predecessors.

The March 8 alliance is boycotting the sessions over lack of consensus on a single candidate.

Qazzi, who is a Kataeb official, said that Gemayel’s meetings with top officials come as part of his initiative to urge rival parties to overcome their differences and elect a new president by May 25.

Gemayel visited on Tuesday Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, the March 14 alliance’s only candidate for the presidency, in Maarab.

After the talks, the former president stressed the need to elect a president who would “fully reassure Christians and the Lebanese.”

He also urged the respect for the constitutional deadline for the election of a head of state.

Gemayel will not only meet with Maronite leaders, Qazzi said. His visits will include the different political leaderships that hold a sway in the elections.

The minister told al-Seyassah that March 14 officials met on Monday night to discuss the presidential crisis.

They agreed to find new ways to resolve it by coming up with a new mechanism to announce candidacies, he said.

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