The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Aoun’s chances of reaching presidency null
A March 8 parliamentary source told Al-Liwaa that regional and international parties had informed MP Michel Aoun that the chances of him reaching the presidency were null.
“They informed Aoun that he has to turn into a partner with the other parties in the decision-making process over the next president, given his strong Christian weight,” the source said.
Some ministers rejected Sukleen extension
Al-Joumhouria has learned that a number of ministers, including those representing the Kataeb Party and the Free Patriotic Movement, have rejected a proposal to extend the contract of Sukleen during Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.
Those opposing the extension have demanded that the government give a chance for other international companies to demonstrate their expertise in this area.
Lebanese Forces doesn’t mind president elected by the people
A Lebanese Forces source told An-Nahar that the LF “doesn’t mind a president being elected by the people on condition that the Shiites and Lebanon are freed from the burden of Hezbollah’s weapons so that the Lebanese could express their opinion freely,” the source said.
The source, however, added that ambiguity shrouds the timing of the FPM proposal to elect a president directly by the people.
“The timing of the Aoun proposal is very suspicious and aims to deepen the power vacuum,” the source added. “Let’s elect a president ... then look into amending the Constitution.”
Negotiators warn to quit hostage crisis talks
The Committee of Muslim Scholars has warned it will leave talks to secure the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen held by Islamist militants if internal and external intervention does not stop.
The source said that the negotiators feel that official and nonofficial local parties and other non-Lebanese, likely Turkish or Qatari, were working closely with an official security agency to secure the release of the captives.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk denied any “regional mediation” in the hostage crisis, adding that the Lebanese government was handling the issue with utmost secrecy.