BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea for the first time directly blasted the initiative to break the impasse over the presidential election put forth by his rival Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun as a tool of “deception.”
“Those obstructing the election of a new president proposed a constitutional amendment in yet another attempt to deceive the Lebanese and draw their attention away from the presidential election,” Geagea told supporters during an LF dinner in Kesrouan Saturday evening.
“Have they forgotten that the Cabinet is not functioning the way it should be, neither is the Parliament and the presidential post is vacant?” Geagea asked.
Last week, Aoun proposed that the Constitution be amended to allow the Lebanese people to vote for their head of state. Aoun suggested that Christians vote in a first round, with the top two candidates then facing a public poll open to voters of all sects.
Geagea argued that since Parliament was convening under an exceptional term rather than a regular one, a constitutional amendment would be impossible.
“Any constitutional amendment would require a regular parliamentary term; it also requires the approval of two-thirds of the assembly’s members,” Geagea said. “Once again, priorities are being sidelined and the presidential election is being shelved.”
Geagea added that his party would continue to press for the election of a new head of state.
According to the LF head, Lebanon was still holding the raging violence in the region at bay, even though he predicted sporadic security incidents would happen in the upcoming period.
“Lebanon will stay away from the violence happening in the region, and stability will be maintained except for sporadic security incidents similar to the ones we witnessed in the past few weeks,” Geagea said. “It’s true we’re living in very difficult circumstances, but I am convinced that Lebanon will prosper in the future and a strong Lebanese state will be built.”