Franjieh speaks after a meeting with Berri in Beirut, Friday, July 29, 2016. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament Website, HO)
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MP Sleiman Frangieh vowed Friday to stay in the presidential race, denying reports that he will bow out in favor of MP Michel Aoun.He also stressed that former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's initiative last year supporting the Marada Movement leader's nomination for the presidency still stood and remains valid. Machnouk also said that the Future Movement so far was committed to supporting Frangieh's candidacy for the presidency.I would like to affirm that this talk is baseless, doesn't exist and was not proposed," Frangieh told reporters after a meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri at the latter's residence in Ain al-Tineh.He reiterated that he would not stand against any national deal on backing Aoun or any other candidate for the presidency. The presidential race is pitting Frangieh, who is supported by Berri, Hariri, MP Walid Jumblatt and some independent lawmakers, against Aoun who is backed by Hezbollah, some of its March 8 allies and the Lebanese Forces.Frangieh also said he was in total agreement with Berri over the presidency issue.Harb, who has voiced his support for Frangieh's candidacy, said he was not convinced of electing Aoun as president.
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