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Gemayel: Parliament sessions boycotted until president elected

  • MP Nadim Gemayel attends a press conference in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: March 14 Christian MPs will boycott all parliamentary legislative sessions until a new president is elected, according to Kataeb MP Nadim Gemayel, who added that Aoun’s candidacy would not be supported.

“We will not participate in any legislative session as long as the presidential void remains,” said the Kataeb MP, during an interview with Kalam Beirut, a program on Future TV.

Gemayel slammed Aoun’s hopes for presidency, saying that “the Future Movement supports a candidate from March 14,” referring to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, “and it will not adopt Aoun’s candidacy.”

In this vein, he called on Future Movement leader former Prime Minister Saad Hariri “to give Aoun a definitive response” that his candidacy would not be supported.

If there is no president selected by September, said Gemayel, then MPs would be obliged to conduct parliamentary elections and the next legislative body would elect a president.

“We shall not think about extending the parliamentary term at all,” he explained.

The Parliament’s term was extended by 17 months at the end of May 2013, the first since the end of 1975-90 Civil War.

Gemayel also addressed Maronite Patriarch Bashara Rai, calling him to invite Christian MPs to hold comprehensive meeting in which a stance against the presidential void could be adopted.

Separately, the Kataeb senior commented on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Lebanon Wednesday, saying that “he should have come when [former President] Michel Sleiman was still in Baaba Palace, and the visit would have been given more importance.”

Concerning relations between the U.S. and Iran, Gemayel said that there was an obvious rapprochement ongoing between the two states, noting that “[Hezbollah head] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has stopped attacking the United States in his speeches.”

 
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Summary

March 14 Christian MPs will boycott all parliamentary legislative sessions until a new president is elected, according to Kataeb MP Nadim Gemayel, who added that Aoun's candidacy would not be supported.

If there is no president selected by September, said Gemayel, then MPs would be obliged to conduct parliamentary elections and the next legislative body would elect a president.

Gemayel also addressed Maronite Patriarch Bashara Rai, calling him to invite Christian MPs to hold comprehensive meeting in which a stance against the presidential void could be adopted.


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