File - MP Sleiman Franjieh leaves the Parliament in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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MP Sleiman Frangieh's nomination for the presidency might have been scuppered, mainly because it lacked joint Saudi-Iranian backing, but regardless of that the presidential election seems to be far off, political analysts said Monday. Although Frangieh's nomination for the country's top Christian post was endorsed last year by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri as part of an internationally backed initiative to end the 2-year-old power vacuum, there are no signs that the Marada Movement leader's fading hope for the presidency would pave the way for a compromise candidate, they said.Frangieh's dwindling chances were to justify the inability to elect a president because Frangieh is backed by Britain, France, America and Saudi Arabia," Nader told The Daily Star.He said that Frangieh's candidacy for the presidency was the "only serious initiative" to end the power vacuum. Nader said Frangieh's fading hope for the presidency would not boost the chances of his rival, MP Michel Aoun, who is backed by Hezbollah, some March 8 allies and the Lebanese Forces.However, political analyst Qassem Kassir begged to differ, saying that despite Machnouk's declaration, Frangieh's chances for the presidency have not waned.A political source said Frangieh's dwindling hopes for the presidency have boosted Aoun's chances.
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