Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel speaks during a news conference in Beirut, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Kataeb Party leader Sami Gemayel challenged MP Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement Tuesday to attend the upcoming presidential election session, saying that its absence would raise doubts over its recently formed alliance with the Lebanese Forces.Similarly, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said last week that the group's MPs would only show up to an election session if Aoun's victory were guaranteed.In a surprise about-face last month, Geagea announced his support for Aoun, a longtime rival, in a step aimed at undermining the candidacy of MP Sleiman Frangieh, who had secured the backing of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.The announcement of the agreement came during a meeting between Aoun and Geagea at the LF leader's residence in Maarab. Gemayel questioned if the two Christian leaders really had the same stance on whether their agreement bestowed legitimacy on Hezbollah's arms.Gemayel also dismissed the idea that a "strong president" must be from either the March 8 or March 14 bloc.Gemayel denied that Lebanon's four Maronite leaders had agreed that one of them must be elected president during a series of meetings chaired by the Maronite patriarchate. The meetings brought together Geagea, Aoun, Frangieh and former President Amine Gemayel.
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