Lebanon News

Election of president requires concessions by all sides: Sleiman

The main fountain at the Baabda Palace was turned off after Michel Sleiman left, signaling that the residence place of the Lebanese president is temporarily empty. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Former President Michel Sleiman wished Tuesday that the New Year would bring rapprochement between Lebanon’s rival political groups through dialogue and concession leading to the election of his successor.

“I hope frank and serious dialogue would lead to agreement on national issues, the most important of which is the election of a new president of the republic,” Sleiman was quoted as telling Defense Minister Samir Moqbel, who visited him along with Sports and Youth Minister Abdul-Muttaleb al-Hinawi and Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas, in addition to MP Ziad Kadri.

Sleiman cautioned his visitors that the government should devote utmost efforts to ensure security, especially on the volatile Lebanese-Syrian border, and called on residents of border areas to support the Army which he described as the “only guarantor of Lebanon’s stability.”

Sleiman, a former Army commander, left office at the end of his six-year term in May, and Parliament has since failed more than a dozen times to elect a successor due to disagreement over a candidate.

 

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