BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest – Aug. 25, 2014

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

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.

Ad-Diyar

No presidential election in 2014, Parliament extension likely

It appears that the presidential election will not take place in 2014.

A high-ranking official told Ad-Diyar that "elections won’t be held in 2014, but instead Parliament’s mandate will be extended by two years in October based on the draft law proposed by MP Nicolas Fattoush."

Despite efforts by Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Walid Jumblatt to end the presidential election deadlock, unfortunately a new president will not be elected.

The government will then act in a caretaking capacity.

An-Nahar

Diplomatic flurry over presidential election, Vatican steps in

A political source told An-Nahar that a flurry of intensified diplomatic efforts was likely to facilitate the presidential election process.

"Something began cooking behind the scenes," the source.

The source, however, did not say whether the efforts would bear fruits given Gen. Michel Aoun’s insistence on his undeclared presidential nomination and his willingness to disrupt the election if the circumstances should prevent him from reaching Baabda Palace.

Vatican circles are also expected to make a stance on Lebanon, possibly in the form of a message or through internal communication with a signal: “Monopolizing Christian representation is forbidden."

An-Nahar has learned that an initiative intended to be launched by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to facilitate the presidential election has been postponed until after his return from the Vatican.

Al-Akhbar

Hariri proposed Obeid, Kahwagi for presidency, gave up call to topple Syria

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has informed those concerned that he has given up on calls to topple the Syrian regime.

“The task of toppling the regime is not our duty. Therefore, anyone speaking on our behalf is prohibited from uttering any word that calls for overthrow of the regime, because we, in Lebanon, cannot afford this battle nor can we afford the bill of victories of ISIS, Nusra Front and others," Hariri told supporters.

Al-Akhbar also learned that Hariri has informed Speaker Nabih Berri that his political party does not mind any quick deal on the presidency but does not want to link Parliament’s extension to any agreement.

He explicitly said, for the first time, that the Future Movement supported a “logical settlement” whereby Gen. Michel Aoun and Samir Geagea pull out from the presidential race and search begins for a new personality capable of “protecting the political understanding.”

For the first time, Hariri pointed to those whom he believes are the closest to this idea: former Minister Jean Obeid and Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi.

Hariri was clear from the outset that any new president would ensure that Hezbollah’s arms won't be up for debate.

As-Safir

Captives’ families threaten ... Gunmen roaming Arsal

The captive soldiers’ families have threatened to step up their action unless they see serious efforts to release their beloved ones.

They held the government responsible for the safety of their sons and their safe return home before “before getting involved in unwanted trouble.”

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said he would meet a delegation of the captive soldiers’ families Monday.

Meanwhile, gunmen were freely roaming the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal “looking for wanted persons.”

Information made available to As-Safir said Nusra Front and ISIS militants had entered Arsal a number of times, raiding civilians’ houses over alleged resumed collaboration with the Lebanese Army.

The information said that the militants had a list of the people wanted for their collaboration with the Army.

 

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Summary

It appears that the presidential election will not take place in 2014 .

Despite efforts by Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Walid Jumblatt to end the presidential election deadlock, unfortunately a new president will not be elected.

A political source told An-Nahar that a flurry of intensified diplomatic efforts was likely to facilitate the presidential election process.

An-Nahar has learned that an initiative intended to be launched by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to facilitate the presidential election has been postponed until after his return from the Vatican.

Hariri proposed Obeid, Kahwagi for presidency, gave up call to topple Syria

For the first time, Hariri pointed to those whom he believes are the closest to this idea: former Minister Jean Obeid and Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi.


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