BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said in comments published Saturday that a vacuum in the presidential post would be better than placing the country under Hezbollah’s control.
“We do not have a lot of options [in case of a vacuum]; we would either hold on to our stance or surrender the country to Hezbollah and its allies,” Geagea told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.
“A vacuum is easier and a better choice than losing Lebanon for good," he said. "I prefer we face some hard times over giving up the country to Hezbollah."
Geagea, the March 14 presidential candidate, reiterated that he is ready to withdraw from the presidential race for the sake of another March 14 candidate who shares his platform and ideas and is accepted by the March 8 camp.
“If there is another candidate, who has the same program that I have suggested, and the other camp accepts him, then I am willing to discuss the matter,” he said.
“The presidency is not a personal issue for me; my candidacy has an objective and serves a vision of Lebanon,” he added.
The LF leader also said that former Prime Minister Saad Hariri would not accept a deal to elect Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun as a consensus president in return for presiding over the new Cabinet.
“Hariri’s comeback is not up to Aoun nor can he grant the post of prime minister to Hariri,” said Geagea.
“Hariri has the largest Sunni bloc in Lebanon from the north of the country to its south. He would not be gaining anything from such deal,” he added.
Lebanon has so far failed in three consecutive sessions to elect a successor for President Michel Sleiman, whose term expires on Ma 25.
In his presidential campaign platform, Geagea said he would seek the place all arms under the control of teh state, in a direct reference to Hezbollah's arsenal.