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Lebanon News

Sleiman reiterates rejection of extending his term

President Michel Sleiman arrives to attend a Cabinet session at Baabda Palace, Thursday, March 27, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman reiterated Sunday that he would not accept an extension of his presidential term that ends next month.

“I am bored of answering the question about extending my term, and I say it once again that I am against the extension because it not democratic,” Sleiman said, speaking from Bkirki where he attended the Sunday Easter Mass.

“I say no for extension of the presidency or in Parliament,” he said.

Sleiman said that boycotting the upcoming Parliament session to elect a new president would be “wrong” as it meant “boycotting consensus and Dialogue.”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai also appealed to lawmakers to attend the session, saying that “it is an honor for lawmakers to elect a new president.”

Speaker Nabih Berri has called for a Parliament session to elect a new head of state Wednesday, but it is not certain whether a quorum for such session will be secured.

The president also praised the presidential campaign platform of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who declared his candidacy for the election earlier this month.

“I like the presidential program of Samir Geagea because it is national and sovereign, and I congratulate any president who applies such program,” he said.

A delegation from the LF held a rare visit to Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun at his Rabieh residence Saturday afternoon and gave him a copy of Geagea's presidential program.

The delegation included MPs Strida Geagea, Joseph Maalouf and Fadi Karam, along with former Minister Toni Karam and a member of the party's executive committee, Eddy Abi al-Lamaa.

Sleiman also spoke about his ties with Hezbollah, which have deteriorated recently over the president’s criticism of the party’s role in Syria.

“My ties with Hezbollah are normal, Hezbollah ministers are present within the government and I see them once or twice a week,” he said.

“The party just took inappropriate stances, and I made statement that they did not like.”

 

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Summary

President Michel Sleiman reiterated Sunday that he would not accept an extension of his presidential term that ends next month.

Speaker Nabih Berri has called for a Parliament session to elect a new head of state Wednesday, but it is not certain whether a quorum for such session will be secured.

The president also praised the presidential campaign platform of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who declared his candidacy for the election earlier this month.

Sleiman also spoke about his ties with Hezbollah, which have deteriorated recently over the president's criticism of the party's role in Syria.


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