Former Prime Minister and Future Movement head Saad Hariri. (The Daily Star Photo)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is standing firm on his support for MP Sleiman Frangieh's presidential bid, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said Friday, as signs emerged that Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea might endorse MP Michel Aoun's candidacy as a means of breaking the 19-month-long deadlock. Machnouk denied reports that Hariri's initiative, backing Frangieh's candidacy for the presidency, was doomed after triggering staunch opposition from the country's three main Christian parties: the Free Patriotic Movement, the LF and the Kataeb Party. A senior LF official said that a long-awaited meeting between Aoun and Geagea could be held at any time at the latter's residence in Maarab.However, Melhem Riachi, chief of the LF media and liaison office, said that a meeting between the LF chief and the FPM founder, seen crucial for a presidential breakthrough, is not imminent as reported by some local newspapers. Despite the strain in the Future Movement's ties with the LF caused by Hariri's support for Frangieh's presidential bid, Riachi emphasized his party's firm backing for Hariri as Lebanon's next prime minister.Geagea, the March 14-backed presidential candidate, strongly opposes Frangieh's candidacy.
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