Report: Hariri, Aoun Dialogue to Resolve Presidential Impasse

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An agreement between al-Mustaqbal and the Free Patriotic Movement is reportedly the solution to the controversial presidential deadlock.

According to As Safir newspaper, consultations between the two parties didn’t reach any positive results as al-Mustaqbal chief Saad Hariri hasn’t yet “openly” agreed to support FPM leader Michel Aoun’s candidacy to the presidency.

Parliamentary sources told the daily that the “dialogue between the FPM and al-Mustaqbal is ongoing but will not last forever.”

“May 25 is a critical stage and Hariri has to make up his mind” concerning Aoun’s candidacy for the presidential post.

The sources said that “the FPM facilitated the formation of the cabinet, the ministerial statement, the appointments of civil servants in state institutions and the implementation of the security plan… These achievements are worth to taking into consideration.”

Sources close to the March 8 alliance told As Safir that “Aoun will not waiver his right to reach the presidency.”

“Those who are waiting for him to engage in settlements after vacuum occurs will have to wait for a long time.”

Al-Mustaqbal sources described in remarks to al-Akhbar newspaper the ongoing consultations with Aoun as “very important.”

“Hariri was convinced at a certain stage that electing Aoun as the head of state will have a good impact on stability in the country.”

However, the sources continue: “Things are not clear yet… And Saudi Arabia rejects the adoption of Aoun’s candidacy.”

“Hariri’s agreement with Aoun has negative and positive aspects as it would detach the agreement between Aoun and Hizbullah, prevent (Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid) Jumblat from playing (the balancing role at the parliament) and maintain stability in the country.”

“But the agreement would impact the March 14 coalition, in addition to the alliance between al-Mustaqbal and the Lebanese Forces that will both collapse,” the sources added, noting that “Hariri prefers to preserve his current alliances at this stage.”

Parliament has so far failed to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

Most of the March 8 camp’s MPs have boycotted four rounds of elections over their call for an agreement on a consensual president.

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