Eichhorst Says New President Should Have ‘Large Support Base’

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European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst has said it is important for a candidate, who garners a wide support, to be elected as president.

In an interview with An Nahar daily published on Friday, Eichhorst said the president-elect should “enjoy a large support base.”

The head of state “could be backed by a party. But when he reaches Baabda Palace, he should become the president of all the Lebanese,” she said.

The new president should be capable of bringing the rival parties closer, the diplomat told An Nahar.

“Consensus that comes as a result of dialogue is a very important factor although some see it as a weakness,” she said.

Eichhorst hoped there would not be a vacuum after May 25, when President Michel Suleiman’s six-year tenure ends.

“You don’t know what happens if you violate the Constitution,” she said about the failure of lawmakers to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 camps.

She reiterated that the presidential election is a local issue.

“I am optimistic on the exerted efforts to strike a Lebanese deal by May 25,” she said.

Kataeb party leader Amin Gemayel has been meeting with top Lebanese officials in an effort to resolve the presidential deadlock.

March 14 has backed the candidacy of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea. But March 8, which has called for a consensus candidate, has boycotted the parliamentary sessions for the election of a president.

A new round is scheduled to be held on Thursday.

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