Lebanon News

Aoun's bloc will not attend this week's presidential election session

Former Labor Minister Salim Jreissati speaks on his phone in Beirut, Monday, March 5, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Lawmakers from Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform parliamentary bloc will not attend Thursday’s Parliament session to elect a president in the absence of an agreement over a conscenus candidate.

“If circumstances remain the same by Thursday, then MPs from our bloc will not show up [at the election session],” said former Minister Salim Jreissati after attending the weekly meeting of Aoun’s bloc at the latters Rabieh residence, north of Beirut.

Jressati added that Aoun’s lawmakers would back any consensus reached by rival political parties on a presidential candidate capable of uniting various factions and has the required qualifications.

Aoun’s MPs along with those of Hezbollah have boycotted four parliamentary sessions to elect a president over the past month, saying they would only show up when a consensus is reached on one presidential candidate who really represents Lebanon’s Christians.

Aoun considers himself to be the representative of the majority of Lebanon's Christians and his group has been holding several meetings with the Future Movement in a bid to win its support for his possible presidential bid.

Jreissati said that the boycotting of the sessions did not aim at disrupting presidential elections, but reflected adherence to the National Pact which highlights equal power sharing between Muslims and Christians.

Jreissati said that the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc had given the option for its MPs to attend a Parliament session to be chaired by Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday to discuss an appeal to the legislature by President Michel Sleiman to elect a new head of state.





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