Lebanon News

Hariri presidential initiative at standstill: Kataeb minister

BEIRUT: Kataeb Party official Sejaan Azzi Friday announced that an initiative proposed by Future leader Saad Hariri to end the 18-month presidential void has reached a standstill, highlighting that presidential candidates must garner collective approval to reach the post.

"(The president) should not be a divisive factor between political powers," Azzi, who is also the country's labor minister, told reporters after meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea at the latter's residence in Maarab.

He said Hariri's initiative faces "several obstacles," and that "it was put on hold."

However, Azzi emphasized that these obstacles "shouldn't halt efforts to resolve the presidential crisis" in a general sense.

"The country can no longer endure remaining without a head."

He reiterated that the Kataeb Party is seeking the election of a president "who respect the Constitution, believes in Lebanon's sovereignty, the endorsement of a fair electoral law, and the unity of its army."

"These are the guarantees we are looking for, which are reflected in the Constitution."

Head of the Kataeb Party Sami Gemayel has said that he would not support the presidential nomination of Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh unless he distances himself from the Syrian leadership.

Hariri, a leading March 14 figure, is believed to be seeking a deal whereby Frangieh becomes president in exchange for his return to the premiership.

The initiative gained support from several influential sides, but has been met by staunch opposition from the three main Christian parties – the Lebanese Force, FPM and Kataeb.

 

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