10/25/2016, 09.52
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Michel Aoun meets with Patriarch Rai, after gaining support of most Lebanese parties

by Pierre Balanian

It’s almost certain that Gen. Aoun will be elected new president of Lebanon during the session slated for 31 October. He is supported by Saad Hariri, Hezbollah, the Lebanese Forces. His party has good relations with Christians, Shiites and Sunnis. Jumblatt Druze dubious. Nabih Berri and Amal say no. Surprise silence of Saudi Arabia. The first president to have been "Made in Lebanon".


Beirut (AsiaNews) – After a two and a half year presidential void – since the end of Michel Suleyman’s mandate  - there finally seems to be  some light at the end of the tunnel in Lebanon.

According to all the local political analysts the next sitting of Parliament to vote on a new president, scheduled for October 31 next, will end with the election of a majority of General Michel Aoun.  He has been Hezbollah's candidate to date  and in a surprise move two days ago,  Saad Hariri gave him his support.

Last summer Aun also received the support of the head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea. The other candidate, Suleyman Franjiye, allied with Aoun and Hezbollah has not withdrawn his candidature "although aware that the general has a much better chance of winning" as he told the independent Christian television LBC.

Aoun’s only remianing opponents now ares the leader of the Shiite party Amal, Nabih Berri and the proverbial uncertainty of the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, whose opposition would not change the results at all. Usually OF Druze always opt to back the majority. But in order to create the broadest possible consensus, Gen. Aoun is expected to meet with Jumblatt in the coming days. According to rumors, before giving their official support, Jumblatt is waiting for the return of the US ambassador in Beirut.

Everything points to Gen. Aoun becoming the next president of the Lebanese Republic, since he also has the support from independent parties such as the Armenian parties.

Two days ago, Aoun visited the Maronite patriarchal headquarters in Bkerke, in the hills 25 km north of Beirut, where he met with the card. Beshara Rai.

Sources close to Bkerke state that the Maronite Patriarchate "had no choice but to support the election of a home grown President of the Republic after many decades ".

In fact, it will be the first time since the end of the bloody Lebanese civil war that the election of the President of the Republic takes place without foreign impositions. In fact, in the past, Saudi Arabia has had a decisive influence in Lebanon. Today everyone is mystified by Riyadh’s silence given the fact that it has always been contrary to the candidature of Aoun.

The meeting between the General and Card. Rai is important. The patriarch is considered the unifier of the will of the Lebanese Christians and guarantor of the National Pact that gave birth to Lebanon. He carries a moral burden for Lebanese of all religious confessions.

Gen.  Aoun, was accompanied by Gaby Jibrail, in charge of relations with religious leaders in the political party created by Aoun, who spoke of the excellent relations that link his party with the Shiites and the Sunnis.

Michel Aoun informed Card. Rai of the latest developments and the content of his meetings with Saad Hariri and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and the almost unanimous consensus of most of the political forces of the country in supporting his candidacy. The general expressed great confidence in the success of the Parliament's sitting scheduled for 31 October and in the possibility this time it is almost certain to guarantee the country a president after two years.

Card. Rai expressed his "satisfaction" and tranquility to finally see what he has always asked for: that the parliamentary groups could agree on the election of a president in response to the expectations of the people.

The Cardinal had always refused to nominate a candidate has always stressed that the Constitution be respected and that the first fundamental duty of the parliament consisted in electing a president. "It would be shameful – he has often said - to celebrate the first centenary of the birth of Lebanon in four years" with the inability to elect a president of the republic.


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See also
Saad Hariri to back Michel Aoun for presidency
21/10/2016 17:38
After winning the armed confrontation, Hizbollah is preparing to cash in politically
Rival factions exchange fire as Hariri tries to form new government
Secretary Rice brings US backing to Suleiman and Siniora
More and more talk about a “Saudi” solution to Lebanon’s political crisis


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