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Lebanon News

Geagea ready to cede to consensus candidate

Patriarch Beshara Rai, right, receives LF leader Samir Geagea in Bkirki, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Maronite Patriarchate Bkerke, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Thursday he is ready to withdraw from the presidential race in favor of a consensus candidate.

“I will withdraw my candidacy if consensus is reached on another March 14 figure,” Geagea said following talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in Bkirki.

A meeting is underway between Lebanese presidential hopeful Samir Geagea and Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, a day after lawmakers failed for the third time to elect a new president.

MPs affiliated with the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition boycotted a third round of voting in Parliament Wednesday, prompting Speaker Nabih Berri to adjourn the meeting until May 14.

Wednesday’s was the third time in less than a month that lawmakers failed to elect a new head of state before President Michel Sleiman’s term ends May 25.

Unless March 8 and rivals in the Future Movement-led March 14 alliance choose a consensus candidate, it is increasingly unlikely that Lebanon will have a new president within the constitutional deadline.

 

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