BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader MP Samir Geagea said that restoring the role and authority of the state would be his main goal if elected president.
“The most important challenge I would like to face would be implementing the constitution and the laws to ensure that the authority and prestige of the state is restored, for the state to be once again a state,” Geagea said during a news conference in Maarab to announce his platform.
The LF earlier this month nominated Geagea, a staunch critic of Hezbollah and a main pillar of the March 14 coalition, as its candidate for the presidential election due in less than two months.
The March 14 coalition however has not yet endorsed his candidacy although Geagea says he is confident that it will.
Geagea also called for a state monopoly on the use of force, including fighting Israel.
“We should commit to the requirements of establishing a state; there is no state in the world that grants another party power over its decisions,” Geagea said. “This is why there is no leniency on the issue of state monopoly on arms.”
“We want a state that can protect its people and impose security to ensure stability and security.”
The LF leader also stressed 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.
He said the Taef Accord gave the presidency post authority but that Syrian control over Lebanon led to the marginalization of this post for nearly two decades.
“The presidency still enjoys important powers after the Taef Accord, and it is capable of assuming a central role in directing Lebanon’s political life in the right direction if the post if filled by a president chosen by the Lebanese people,” he said.
“The marginalization of the presidency due to Syrian hegemony has nothing to do with the constitution or the laws,” he added.
In his 32-point presidential program, Geagea cited judicial, economic, touristic, agriculture and environmental reforms.
He said, for example, that the rules of the Lebanese courts must be reconsidered and suggested a comprehensive judicial reform that would include increasing the numbers of judges, fighting corruption inside the judiciary, eliminating the death penalty and rehabilitating prisons as well as other proposals.
He also called for "liberating" the security institutions from “restrictions imposed during the era of Syrian hegemony."
“The security institutions must be put back on the right track to ensure security and stability for all Lebanese without discrimination,” he said.