BEIRUT: Strengthening the state can be for the benefit of the resistance, President Michel Sleiman said during a farewell meeting with employees of Presidential Palace in Baabda and journalists.
“The resistance does not get damaged by the emergence of the state, on the contrary a state can protect its role,” he said.
“Why do we need liberation if it does not lead to a refined democratic state based on justice and equal chances?” he asked. “The goal of liberation is to be liberated from slavery, bondage to the leader... or slavery in other fields, those who sacrificed their blood want this kind of liberation and do not want political exploitation [for their sacrifices]."
Sleiman also said that despite political hindrances, he remained assured over the situation in the country.
“I am not afraid over the situation in Lebanon,” he said. “However, political obstruction has delayed many things.”
Sleiman is set to receive well-wishers in his Amchit hometown Sunday, his final day as head of state.
A family photo released on Sleiman’s official Facebook page said he would meet supporters and reassure them that this was not the end of his political life.
“On Sunday, May 25, my wife and I will meet in our Amchit residence with all those who followed up on my military, political and social path and supported the project of the state, to thank them and promise them to maintain the national work,” the photo caption said.
The president also said that women had assumed a major role in the latest round of administrative appointments.
“Twelve women were appointed in top administrative posts,” he said.
Sleiman is set to leave his office in Baabda Saturday, but political sources told the Daily Star earlier that he was adamant on co his political career.
The sources said that the 65-year-old outgoing president was seriously considering establishing a political gathering after he leaves office that could turn into a movement or a party.
The gathering would initially compromise figures from Jbeil, Kesrouan and the Metn that were close to Sleiman when he served as a president, the sources said.
Such a move would be in line with a tradition that emerged following Lebanon’s 1943 independence, with some presidents continuing to work in politics after the end of their terms, pushing principles that they had championed during their tenure.