Jumblat Considers Country Entered Vacuum Stage

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Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat considered on Wednesday that the country has entered the vacuum stage at the helm of the country’s top Christian post, noting that it will remain vacant until the political arch-foes reach consensus over a presidential candidate.

“There is no vacuum but a vacant seat,” Jumblat said in comments published in several local newspapers.

The rival parties need to reach an agreement over a consensual president and our candidate MP Henri Helou has all the required characteristics, the Druze leader told As Safir newspaper.

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea “have the right to run for the presidency but our critical situation requires a consensual president,” he said.

The March 14 alliance has openly backed Geagea for office, while its political foes have yet to announce their candidate.

But Aoun continuously said that he will not announce his candidacy for the presidency if there was no political consensus on him.

“The country is governed by dialogue and agreement” among foes, Jumblat considered.

The PSP chief criticized in remarks to An Nahar the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc’s weekly statement, saying: “It doesn’t indicate that the bloc will participate in (Thursday’s) session.”

Former Minister Salim Jreissati announced on Tuesday that Change and Reform MPs would not attend Thursday’s parliamentary session if the same circumstances surrounding talks on the anticipated vote persisted.

“This isn’t helpful,” Jumblat pointed out.

Asked about his visit to the French Capital Paris, Jumblat said that it was a “private trip.”

He traveled to Paris on Sunday accompanied by his aide Health Minister Wael Abou Faour.

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