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Frangieh standing by Aoun for president

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun (C), Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh and Marada official Youssef Saadeh meet in Rabieh, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/FPM office, HO)

BEIRUT: Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh Thursday threw his weight once more behind Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun as Lebanon’s consensus president.

“I came here today to express my support for the General [Aoun],” Frangieh said following talks with Aoun in Rabieh. “We are with him in this battle."

“At the end of the line, we are going to have a strong Maronite president. But we want a consensus president,” he told reporters.

Aoun has repeatedly said he would consider nominating himself for the presidency if he were acceptable to all Lebanese.

Frangieh’s visit came one day after Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said he would not vote for Aoun or Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.

Geagea, who has announced his candidacy, also does not consider Aoun to be a consensus candidate.

Frangieh, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, lamented the course the election has taken so far, but seem to suggest it was out of Lebanese hands.

"The method for the battle could have been managed better, but the outcome would have been according to the map drawn for Lebanon," he said.

Addressing the Future Movement-led March 14 coalition, Frangieh said: “They tell us [March 8] if we don’t elect Geagea, we are disrupting [the election]. So why don’t they elect Aoun?”

Before meeting Frangieh, Aoun held talks with Jumblatt’s presidential hopeful Henry Helou.

Helou said his meeting was part of a political tour of Lebanese leaders.

“Today, I’m still a candidate,” Helou said. “We’ll see what the next few days will bring.”

 

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