Geagea and Aoun pose for a photo with aides Melhem Riachi and Ibrahim Kenaan at the Lebanese Forces headquarters in Maarab.
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Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea Monday backed his rival MP Michel Aoun for the presidency, in a surprise about-face that could either help end the 20-month-long presidential deadlock, or lead to a realignment of forces on both sides of the political divide, further delaying a solution.Geagea's endorsement of Aoun's candidacy is aimed to undermine MP Sleiman Frangieh's presidential chances, especially after the LF leader called on his allies in the March 14 coalition, led by the Future Movement, to rally behind Aoun's bid. The move also means that Geagea, who is backed by the March 14 coalition for the presidency, has actually dropped his candidacy in favor of Aoun.However, Frangieh vowed to stay in the presidency race in defiance of Geagea's support for Aoun's candidacy.Geagea still faces an uphill task to convince his March 14 allies, namely the Future Movement and the Kataeb Party, to get on board with the endorsement. He called on them to support Aoun to end the current presidential vacuum. Geagea's decision to back Aoun comes as Hariri's initiative backing Frangieh's presidential bid has been stalled by strong opposition from the three main Christian parties: the LF, the FPM and the Kataeb Party.
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