Lebanon News

Jumblatt 'not against' Geagea, Aoun nominations

PSP leader MP Walid Jumblatt arrives at the presidential palace in Baabda, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said that he does not oppose the nomination of Samir Geagea or Michel Aoun for the presidency, but stressed that consensus is the only solution to Lebanon’s electoral stalemate.

“I did not object to the nomination of [Lebanese Forces leader] Samir Geagea or [Free Patriotic Movement head] Michel Aoun for the presidency, but it’s better that parties don’t challenge each other,” Jumblatt told Al-Jadeed television channel in a late Thursday interview.

He said he also did not reject a proposal to nominate Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi.

But the PSP chose MP Henry Helou as a consensus candidate, Jumblatt said, because Kahwagi’s nomination requires a constitutional amendment.

“Lebanon can only live on consensus and agreement,” Jumblatt stressed.

Lebanon has failed to elect a new president in two rounds of voting. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri set May 7 as the third round of polls.

OOn a separate issue, Jumblatt said he supported the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes.

Never in my life have I smoked marijuana, but I support growing cannabis for medical use and to improve the living conditions of farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley,” he said.

Jumblatt argued that crop substitution programs have all failed and forced farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley to leave their lands and head to Beirut to make a better living.

“Let’s legalize cannabis and regulate its cultivation.”





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