BEIRUT: A new president for Lebanon requires Syrian President Bashar Assad’s blessing, Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh said.
“No president for Lebanon if not blessed by Bashar Assad,” Frangieh told the local NBN television channel Wednesday evening.
He said Assad would “be happy” to see Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun reach the country’s top post.
Aoun is widely considered the March 8 candidate for the presidency, although he has not officially declared his candidacy, insisting that he would only run if the rival parties agree on him as a consensus candidate.
But Frangieh appeared to disagree with Aoun, who proposed in a recent television interview to hold parliamentary elections amid a presidential void.
“In Bkirki, we agreed not to hold elections based on the 1960 law,” he said.
Last year, Parliament extended its mandate by 17 months after lawmakers failed to agree on a new election law. Parliamentary elections are now scheduled for September, but the ongoing presidential vacuum, which has also crippled Parliament and the Cabinet, has thrown the possibility of holding the vote on time into question.
Most Christian MPs and the Future bloc's lawmakers are boycotting Parliament's legislative sessions, insisting that the country's top Christian post be filled before any legislation is passed. However, Hezbollah and FPM lawmakers are boycotting the electoral sessions, insisting that a consensus much be reached on an acceptable successor to Michel Sleiman before a vote is held.