Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel (L) looks on as former Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks to reporters, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Future Movement leader Saad Hariri declared for the first time Monday his explicit support for his political rival Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh for the presidency, while acknowledging disputes within the March 14 coalition.When asked whether there were attempts to convince Gemayel of Frangieh's nomination, Hariri gave a vague response, saying he had his reasons for endorsing Frangieh and that he respected Gemayel's opinion.With Hariri's relations with Geagea deteriorating, a rift became apparent between Aoun and his long-time ally Frangieh also. Aoun is still backed by Hezbollah, and Frangieh has vowed to continue with his presidential candidacy despite Geagea's endorsement of Aoun. Gemayel said he believed Hariri's position on the presidential crisis was moderate, describing the initiative to back Frangieh as "fateful".
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