TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea’s presidential candidacy was shameful and desspicable, former minister Faisal Karami said Sunday. He spoke at a rally in Tripoli marking the anniversary of the assassination of his uncle former Prime Minister Rashid Karami.
“The election of Geagea is a boring and trivial farce but what’s outrageous is that this nomination happened with the consent of the Lebanese political class under the pretext of democracy,” Karami said from Abdel-Hamid Karami Square in the north Lebanon city.
“The mere existence of Geagea in the [Lebanese] political arena defies Lebanon’s judicial rulings and the country’s democratic system.”
Karami also said that it was necessary the current presidential vacuum not lead to a political vacuum that would disrupt the country and its institutions and lead to tensions on the streets.
Karami added that the nomination of a “criminal” for the presidency was a blow to the national charters of co-existence.
Thousands of supporters gathered at the Abdel-Hamid Karami Square to mark the 27th anniversary of Rashid Karami’s killing. Officials, religious and municipal figures attended the rally.
Karami was assassinated in an explosion that went off while on board a Lebanese Army helicopter taking him to Beirut from Tripoli in 1987.
Geagea was sentenced to life in prison for his alleged involvement in the assassination, something he continues to deny, claiming that it was a lie fabricated by the Syrian regime – a dominant force in Lebanon at the time.
The LF nominated Geagea to run for the presidency in April. His candidacy was endorsed by the March 14 alliance.
“Rashid Karami was killed because he stood as an impregnable rock in the face of the division of Lebanon,” Faisal Karami, a former youth and sports minister said.
“No matter how much they defend Geagea, and no matter how much they try to polish his image, and no matter how much money and mansions they throw at him, Geagea will remain a criminal who was convicted by the highest judicial body in the Lebanese state,” he added.