Lebanon News

Gemayel to hold contacts to 'salvage' election

Kataeb head Amin Gemayel speaks during a new conference in Saifi on Monday, May 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Kataeb party head Amin Gemayel said Monday he would launch contacts with political parties in order to "salvage" the presidential election, days before Parliament is set convene for a third round to vote.

“I will hold a series of contacts starting Tuesday and meet with several leaders from all parties to search for ways to break the deadlock [over the election],” Gemayel told reporters after he chaired his party’s weekly meeting in Saifi.

“The presidential election can only take place on time if we communicate and take into account national interest above all others,” he said, vowing to work as hard as possible to resolve the impasse.

He also warned that failure to elect a new president by the May 25 deadline would “destroy institutions and jeopardize the fate of the nation.”

With no clear candidate capable of garnering needed majority in Parliament, the third round of voting scheduled for Wednesday will most likely fail to convene with most March 8 coalition MPs expected to boycott the session once again.

“We can no longer remain silent over this situation and just waiting for the crime to happen is not acceptable,” said Gemayel, who media reports speculate will announce his candidacy for the country’s top Christian post.

“I am raising the slogan of salvaging the republic ... in order to salvage the presidential election,” he added.

“Since the beginning, the Kataeb has done its best to facilitate the election by placing our interest aside despite the fact that some party members had reservations on some of the initiatives we made,” Gemayel said.

Gemayel was expected to announce his candidacy two weeks ago but backed down from making the announcement.





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