BEIRUT: The Lebanese Forces will announce this week Samir Geagea's candidacy for president, the country's top Christian post, the party said Wednesday.
"We will hold a news conference Friday and announce Geagea's candidacy for president," an LF spokesperson told The Daily Star.
Geagea said last week he was a "natural candidate" to succeed President Michel Sleiman and vowed to prioritize the controversial issue of Hezbollah's military involvement in Syria if elected.
The LF leader is a staunch critic of Hezbollah, Iran and the Syrian regime and one of the main pillars of the Western-backed March 14 coalition.
He completely refused to work alongside Hezbollah in Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s national unity government, which was formed last month, with the party's withdrawal from Syria set as a condition for his participation in the new Cabinet.
Geagea's rival, MP Michel Aoun has also hinted at his interest in running for the presidency.
On March 25, Lebanon entered its two-month constitutional deadline to elect a new head of state in which the speaker is expected to convene Parliament for a vote.
Born on Oct. 26, 1952, in the Beirut eastern suburb of Ain al-Rummaneh, Geagea joined the Kataeb party in his early years and later became the head of the Lebanese Forces militia in 1986.
He was arrested in 1994 over his suspected involvement in a bomb attack on the Our Lady of Salvation Church the same year. He was also sentenced to life imprisonment over his alleged involvement in political assassinations during the Civil War and was not released until July 2005, when Parliament passed an amnesty law.
Geagea was also the target of an attempted assassination in 2012 in his Maarab residence and has accused the Syrian regime and its allies in Lebanon of being behind the killings of political figures in the country.