BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea launches a 32-point presidential program Wednesday that stresses the monopoly of the Lebanese state in fighting Israel and using force, as well as calling for universal health care for the Lebanese, a party source told The Daily Star.
Geagea announced his candidacy for the presidency earlier this month, but has not yet been endorsed by the March 14 coalition. He has expressed confidence that the coalition would back him in the race.
President Michel Sleiman’s term ends on May 25. Lebanon began in March a two-month period to elect a new head of state.
Geagea’s platform will stress the need to adhere to the Taif Accord which ended Lebanon’s 1975-90 Civil War as well as the Baabda Declaration calling for Lebanon’s neutrality toward the war in Syria, the source said. His campaign will also stress the monopoly of the Lebanese state in using arms and the power to fight Israel, key points of contention with Hezbollah.
The source said Geagea would also propose “fundamental” reforms to the Lebanese judiciary and measures to combat corruption and reorganize the ministries.
Geagea will also present a plan for mandatory universal health care for Lebanese people and education reforms that allow students to use state grants to attend private schools.
The source said Geagea’s economic platform would include a proposal on managing oil revenues from offshore drilling projects.
Geagea will also address the issue of Syrian refugees through a proposal to repatriate them to their homes, the source said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 16, 2014, on page 1.