BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea Saturday lashed out at his rivals, accusing them of “treason” for disrupting the presidential election and focusing on managing the vacuum instead of ending the deadlock.
“What is happening today is a treachery because we [only] reached the end of the presidential term [without a successor] because some were disrupting the election,” Geagea, a presidential hopeful, said during a ceremony.
“Since May 25 until today, there is talk about how to institutionalize the vacuum rather than looking into ways to elect a new president. It is as if some people are preparing for a long-time vacuum.”
Lebanon fell into a presidential vacuum on May 25 after lawmakers failed to agree on a consensus candidate, leaving former President Michel Sleiman to end his six-year term without a successor.
Geagea has been the March 14 coalition’s presidential nominee, a candidacy seen by Hezbollah and MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement as confrontational.
Hezbollah and Aoun’s bloc boycotted several parliamentary sessions to elect a new president, forcing the speaker to adjourn for lack of quorum.
Aoun is the March 8 coalition’s undeclared candidate and his contact with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Geagea’s Sunni ally, to convince him of his candidacy has so far been fruitless.
“There is no regional or international pressure on Lebanon but two parliamentary blocs not taking part in the parliamentary sessions and disrupting the election,” Geagea said.
“What is needed is for an additional 12 MPs to attend the session secure quorum and elect a new president according to the Constitution,” he said.
He also accused Aoun of betting on the results of the negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh to become president.
“Some are waiting for the Saudi-Iranian negotiations so Iran can convince Saudi Arabia of Michel Aoun as president,” he said.
“We are not looking for an administrator in Lebanon but a president who can oversee the parliamentary elections. What is happening with the presidential election in 2014 is the scandal of all scandals,” the LF leader said.