Lebanon News

Aoun won’t run unless race is 'serious'

File - MP Michel Aoun speaks during a press conference in Rabieh, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (The Daily Star/Charbel Nakhoul, HO)

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun said Monday he will not declare himself a presidential candidate unless the battle becomes serious.

“So far no one has nominated me. Not even I have nominated myself. When the battle becomes real I will mull whether to run or leave the candidacy for others,” Aoun told a news conference.

He stressed that a Cabinet cannot endure in the absence of the head of state, adding that a vacancy in the president’s seat is unconstitutional.

Aoun, however, underlined his understanding of “constitutional,” by citing comments from Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

“Constitutional means like Rai says, ‘a strong president who is acceptable to both his sect and others’ and also like Hariri says, ‘a president who represents Christians,’” Aoun said.

He said negotiations between the FPM and the Future Movement on a new president were ongoing.

Aoun also explained his vision of an agreement on a “consensus” president.

“Consensus does not mean a 99 percent majority. Christians are democrats however [in this instance] consensus means dictatorship of a sect,” he asserted.





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