File - President Michel Sleiman, left, speaks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Monday, March 31, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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A senior U.S. official Tuesday underlined the need for the presidential election to be held on time without any foreign intervention.Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea is the only Maronite leader who has announced he would run for the presidency, unleashing what promises to be a fiercely contested presidential battle between the rival March 8 and March 14 parties.The stalemated political, security and economic situation we have witnessed over the past 10 months prompted me to announce my candidacy in an attempt to take the country to a new era of governance dominated by peace, stability and prosperity," Geagea told a delegation of the Journalists' Union in Maarab.He ruled out the possibility of the four top Maronite leaders – Geagea, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, former President Amine Gemayel and Zghorta MP Sleiman Frangieh, leader of the Marada Movement – reaching agreement on a unified candidate to the presidency.
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