FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during a press conference in Rabieh, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (The Daily Star/Charbel Nakhoul, HO)
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Will Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun back off from his adamant stance on the presidential crisis and accept the election of a consensus candidate in a bid to end the political impasse that has left Lebanon without a president for six months?Diplomatic sources expressed the belief that the internal Lebanese situation, particularly within the Christian community, and the international situation would probably push Aoun to accept a consensus president in whose election he plays a major role and to be content with being the top Christian leader in Lebanon instead of vying for the country's top Christian post. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's public nomination of Aoun as the March 8 alliance's candidate for the presidency earlier this month, coupled with the Shiite party's support for the extension of Parliament's mandate, which ran contrary to the will of its key Christian ally, enhanced the belief that the FPM leader's chances of being elected president have largely been weakened, the sources said.Senior political sources said Speaker Nabih Berri, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and MP Walid Jumblatt had wanted Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to play a role in persuading both Aoun and Geagea to withdraw from the presidential race, but the patriarch had unfortunately failed in this endeavor.
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