Patriarch Beshara Rai, right, receives Prime Minister Tammam Salam in Bkirki, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Kataeb Party leader Amine Gemayel will run for president and his candidacy will be announced in the next few days, a Kataeb lawmaker said Thursday, a day after Parliament was called to elect a new head of state, throwing the presidential race into high gear.In addition to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who has announced he will run for president, Western Bekaa MP Robert Ghanem from the March 14 coalition has also announced his candidacy.Marouni said Gemayel, a key leader in the March 14 coalition who served as president of Lebanon from 1982 to 1988, is able to gain support from the rival Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance because he maintains contacts with all the parties.Marouni warned of a presidential vacuum unless a regional and international agreement is reached on Lebanon's next president.Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi from the Kataeb Party said Gemayel's candidacy does not contradict that of Geagea. Azzi explained that the March 14 coalition is in need of a moderate candidate that can win some votes from the rival March 8 rival camp, and that Gemayel possesses these qualities.
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