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Geagea says ‘natural candidate’ for presidency

LF leader Samir Geagea speaks during a press conference in Maarab, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Aldo Ayoub, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea says he is a “natural candidate” to succeed President Michele Sleiman and vows he will give priority to the thorny issue of Hezbollah’s military presence in Syria if elected Lebanon’s next head of state.

“I am a natural candidate for the presidency ... today I am the head of the most popular party among Christians as statistics show, thus it is natural for my name to be among the first candidates for the presidency,” Geagea told Al Arabiya television in an interview aired late Tuesday.

“And of course, I am not sad that things are this way.”

“But I will wait for the right moment to officially announce my candidacy,” he added.

Geagea said his priority if elected president would be to “pull Hezbollah out of Syria” but added that he was willing to form an alliance with the party if “Hezbollah changes its strategy, ideology and policy.”

The two-month constitutional deadline for electing a successor for Sleiman started Tuesday. Parliament has until May 25 to choose a new head of state.

 

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