BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun is the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition’s only presidential candidate, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Friday.
“There is one candidate supported by March 8, which has blocked other nominees, and this candidate is Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun,” Berri said in identical comments published by the local Beirut dailies Al-Joumhouria and Ad-Diyar.
“As for the March 14 camp, there are a number of candidates," he said without elaborating.
March 14 has said it will nominate a single presidential candidate.
Future bloc MP Samir Jisr said the March 14 coalition will choose their candidate this week.
Berri set a parliamentary session to elect a new President on April 23.
Meanwhile, Aoun said he will only nominate himself as a consensus candidate.
“I am a consensus candidate. Either I will announce my candidacy on this basis or I won’t [announce it at all],” Aoun told Al-Joumhouria, adding that consensus among the country’s political and sectarian components is key to saving Lebanon.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai congratulated Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on the announcement of his candidacy and his presidential campaign platform, a statement from Gegaea’ office said.
In a phone call with the LF leader, Rai thanked Geagea for sending a delegation to hand him a copy of his platform, which focuses on creating a “strong republic,” the statement said.