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Kataeb to ask March 14 to nominate Gemayel

Former President Amin Gemayel, left, and Minister Sejaan Azzi speak during a press conference at the Kataeb headquarters in Beirut, Saturday, March 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Kataeb party will ask the March 14 coalition to nominate Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel as the alliance’s presidential candidate in the second round of the presidential election, Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi said in remarks published Thursday.

“The Kataeb party will ask the March 14 coalition to choose a candidate other than Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, after the first round did not conclude in his favor,” Azzi told As-Safir daily.

“The Kataeb had already decided to nominate Gemayel for the presidency and he has every right to run for the election and to try to win as many votes as he can,” Azzi said.

The minister, a senior Kataeb official, said that the March 14 coalition would hold discussions over the presidential election in the coming days in order to decide on a unified stance.

Parliament is to hold a second vote on April 30, in which the winning candidate will need at least 65 votes to become president.

124 lawmakers of Parliament’s 128 members attended Wednesday's session, where Geagea won 48 votes.

Meanwhile, MP Henri Helou, who was nominated by Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt, won 16 votes and Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel received one vote, with 52 blank votes cast by most of the March 8 coalition’s MPs.

 

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