Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri shakes hands with MP Michel Aoun at his Downtown Beirut residence, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (The Daily Star/ Mohamad Azakir)
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Mixed reviews emerged from the streets of Beirut Friday over former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's decision to endorse MP Michel Aoun.Aoun, founder of the Free Patriotic Movement, has the largest Christian parliamentary bloc. It is the second largest in Parliament after Hariri's.It would've been better if he [Hariri] kept up his support for Sleiman Frangieh".Before offering his support for Aoun, Hariri previously pushed for Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh for presidency. He initially backed Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who has since endorsed Aoun.Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Future Movement MP Ammar Houri are among the members of the Future parliamentary bloc who have declared their opposition to Aoun's candidacy.Zeineddine said he did not support Aoun or Frangieh, and believes that the country needs a third candidate to bring lasting stability.Support for Hariri's endorsement of Aoun appeared strongest in the predominately Christian neighborhood of Sassine in Ashrafieh, where both the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb Party enjoy widespread support. Those who hailed Hariri also recognized the role Geagea played in paving the way for Aoun's endorsement.
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