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Hariri: Aoun and Hezbollah are blocking the presidency and I still support Frangieh
 
 
 
 
 
 
12-04-2016
 
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said in a chat with journalists today at the "Center House" that "our most important concern now is the election of a President", pointing out that if a quorum is secured for the next session, MP Suleiman Frangieh would have enough votes to win. He added that MP Michel Aoun and Hezbollah are the ones blocking the electoral process and provoking the lack of quorum.


Commenting on the Lebanese Forces Party leader Samir Geagea's recent saying "that if you stop supporting Suleiman Frangieh's candidacy, this will embarrass Hezbollah and lead it to elect Michel Aoun", Hariri said "when Geagea supported Aoun's candidacy, he reassured Hezbollah because it was embarrassed when I supported Frangieh". He pointed out that Hezbollah does not want presidential elections now and continues to block them because if it wanted to elect a president, it could chose between one of the two March 8 candidates.


Asked if his refusal to support Aoun is because he cannot ensure his own nomination as prime minister, he replied: "I said it earlier and I repeat it today. I am not seeking to be prime minister and I proved this over the past years. I did not and will not block the country to be Prime Minister".


Hariri denied that the Saudi-Iranian dispute is behind the disruption of the presidential election and said "if one of the candidates for the elections was from March 14, we could believe this, but the two candidates are from one faction".


Asked if Hezbollah would only allow presidential elections if they come in one "package deal" that also englobes the choice of the prime minister and the electoral law, Hariri replied: "If this is true, Hezbollah must talk directly with MP Michel Aoun. We do not approve this proposal, and if it really wants a "package deal", then we want it to include Hezbollah's weapons. It should recognize that it is like any other component in the country".


Hariri said: "My initiative to support MP Suleiman Frangieh mixed the political cards, and a prime minister from March 14 reduces significantly the political divide. I personally find myself, after what happened, close to some parties in March 8, like Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Suleiman Frangieh, and at the same time close to my allies. I reiterate my support of Frangieh's candidacy and I will meet with him soon".


Hariri pointed out that his meeting today with the father of martyr Wissam Hassan, whose 52nd birthday is today, "was very moving, and showed the tragic loss that hit Lebanon because of his assassination. He was like a brother to me, and by revealing the Samaha-Mamlouk terrorist scheme he saved the country from civil war".


About the calls to abolish the military court, he said: "What concerns us is to preserve our state. There is a disagreement about the work of the military court, but we should not attack the state, and I never gave up on the country in the darkest circumstances". He added: "I support the amendment of the military court system, and some reforms because it issued unfair rulings. The cassation verdict in the case of Michel Samaha shows that anyone who commits a crime against the country will have the same fate as Samaha".


He called for the establishment of a court for terrorism as in many countries to combat this scourge that has no religion or identity.


Asked if the corrected verdict against Michel Samaha will end the deterioration of the relationship with Saudi Arabia, Hariri replied "the deterioration of the relationship with Saudi Arabia was not caused by the sentence against Samaha but by Lebanon's stance in the Arab League and the Islamic Conference, and Hezbollah's meddling in Yemen, Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia". He stressed that Saudi Arabia never gave up on Lebanon.


In response to a question, he said that Minister Ashraf Rifi took a decision and resigned, and if there had been a President, his resignation would have been accepted and a minister would have been appointed in his place.


About the State Security issue, he said that we should not ruin the country for the sake of an employee and all problems can be solved through dialogue.
 
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