Parliamentary Elections Should Be Held Even with Presidential Vacuum

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Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea deemed on Wednesday Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun’s proposal of a constitutional amendment to end the presidential elections deadlock as a “distraction”, saying more pressing matters are at hand.

He said during a press conference: “We should hold the parliamentary elections if the legislature’s term ends and even if a president is not elected.”

“Why are they speaking of an amendment now?” he wondered.

A constitutional amendment is not possible at the moment because parliament is only holding extraordinary sessions given the presidential vacuum, explained the LF leader.

“What is the purpose of the amendment then? Isn’t it aimed at distracting us from the elections?” noted Geagea.

Aoun called on Monday for a constitutional amendment that would allow the people to elect their head of state.

The proposal lies in allowing only Christians to vote for their candidates in the first round that would pave the way for both Muslims and Christians to choose the two candidates who received the majority of votes in the first round.

Geagea remarked that he and Aoun are the two most popular Christian figures in Lebanon and a poll is not needed to verify this, asking: “Do we need a constitutional amendment to prove this?”

Aoun’s proposal is achievable now without the amendment, all he has to do is announce his candidacy, stressed the LF leader.

“Constitutional amendments need years and years to be approved. Filling the vacuum in the presidency is a more pressing issue,” he stated.

Geagea had announced his candidacy for the elections, while Aoun has repeatedly said that he will run in the polls if there is consensus over his nomination.

Eight presidential elections sessions have been staged so far, but seven of them were not held due to a lack of quorum caused by a boycott of the March 8 camp, namely the Loyalty to the Resistance and Aoun’s Change and Reform blocs, over a dispute over a candidate.

The ninth elections session has been scheduled for July 23.

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