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Gemayel, Aoun agree to exert effort to hold election on time

FPM leader Michel Aoun, right, receives former President Amin Gemayel in Rabieh, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (The Daily Star/Charbel Nakhoul, HO)

BEIRUT: Head of the Kataeb Party Amine Gemayel said Wednesday that he agreed with MP Michel Aoun to exert all efforts to hold the presidential election on time, part of the former president’s initiative to break the deadlock.

“The meeting with Aoun was very useful and positive and we agreed to exert efforts to hold the election as soon as possible and what concerns us is for the election to preserve the institutions,” Gemayel told reporters after the meeting at Aoun’s residence in Rabieh.

“It is necessary that we elect a president within the deadline and salvage the republic or else we would be plunging our institutions into the unknown,” he added.

He also said that Lebanon needed a president who could reassure the Lebanese.

For his part, Aoun also described the meeting as positive, saying: “Today we started a new phase of cooperating with Gemayel.”

“We are determined for the election to take place in the next three weeks before May 25,” he added.

Gemayel, a former president, said last week that he would launch contacts with the country’s various parties to salvage the presidential election and the republic.

He met with presidential hopeful Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in Maarab.

An official from Gemayel's Kataeb Party said Wednesday that the March 14 coalition disapproved of their rivals' decision to push for a boycott of the presidential election but hoped to find a way out of the crisis.

Sejaan Azzi, the deputy leader of the Kataeb Party and Lebanon’s labor minister, said March 14 agreed during a meeting late Monday on the need to find a solution to the deadlock.

“March 14 agreed on the need to start looking for an exit to the election crisis by launching a new mechanism for nomination and alliances,” Azzi told the Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassa.

Azzi said he hoped the move would help “override the veto and [achieve a] quorum, and that democracy will take its natural course.”

Azzi said Gemayel’s effort was not just restricted to Maronite leaders.

“Gemayel wants his initiative to be a bit of a positive shock that would encourage the various parties to overcome divisions,” Azzi said.

Gemayel said Tuesday following a meeting with presidential hopeful Samir Geagea that Lebanon's next president must reassure Christians and alleviate the fears of the Lebanese in general.

A third voting session set for midday Wednesday failed for lack of quorum, with the Parliament adjourning to May 15.

 

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Summary

Head of the Kataeb Party Amine Gemayel said Wednesday that he agreed with MP Michel Aoun to exert all efforts to hold the presidential election on time, part of the former president's initiative to break the deadlock.

Gemayel, a former president, said last week that he would launch contacts with the country's various parties to salvage the presidential election and the republic.

Azzi said Gemayel's effort was not just restricted to Maronite leaders.

Gemayel said Tuesday following a meeting with presidential hopeful Samir Geagea that Lebanon's next president must reassure Christians and alleviate the fears of the Lebanese in general.


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