BEIRUT: Change and Reform bloc member MP Alain Aoun condemned the criticism against MP Michel Aoun’s recent initiative Sunday, saying an agreement over an amendment to the presidential electoral process was possible.
“There is no agreement between the parliamentary blocs over a new president yet,” Aoun said in a radio interview. “But an agreement over a constitutional amendment is possible, especially one related to how the presidential elections could be conducted.”
Aoun said that the amendment was necessary because the election of a president by the Parliament was currently impossible because of the political divide.
“MP Michel Aoun’s initiative is open to debate and modification, but some people judged it before examining its details,” he said.
He denied the termination of the dialogue between his Free Patriotic Movement and Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement.
“The dialogue is ongoing in all other topics [but the presidential elections,] especially concerning the ranks and salaries scale and employment in the Lebanese University.”
Aoun's initiative called for the direct election of the president by the people over two rounds, the first by Christians and the second by all sects of the Lebanese. It was harshly criticized by Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who called it a "tool for 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.
Health Minister Wael Abu Faour, an MP of Progressive Socialist Party Leader Walid Jumblatt's bloc, also condemned the initiative Sunday, accusing it of sidelining the Taif Accord.
The Future Movement has also said the initiative came in the wrong time, saying that such a fundamental change in the Lebanese political system required long discussions and wide consensus.