BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement lawmakers are considering the possibility of attending this week’s presidential election session to vote for their leader Michel Aoun, MP Hikmat Deeb said Monday.
“There is a possibility that Change and Reform Bloc MPs will attend Thursday’s meeting and vote for [former] Gen. Michel Aoun, but the final decision will be taken at the bloc meeting on Tuesday," Deeb told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.
He said a “positive atmosphere” prevailed as the various political leaders, particularly within the Future Movement, were “convinced of the need to bring in a strong president.”
Change and Reform bloc lawmakers have boycotted the last four rounds of voting, forcing Speaker Nabih Berri last week to adjourn the session once again to May 22.
Aoun has said he would only run in the presidential election as a "consensus candidate," with reports indicating that the former Army general was waiting for a final word from former PM Saad Hariri on whether the Future Movement would back his candidacy.
Meanwhile, MP Emile Rahme, part of the Marada bloc, said former U.N. envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi was the first one to speak of a "Hariri-Aoun" deal for the presidential seat.
"The first time we heard of a deal to make Aoun president and to have Hariri as a prime minister was in Geneva, after a meeting with the U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi," Rahme told a local station.
"Brahimi said that the U.S. was also talking about such a deal," he added.