This handout picture released on October 24, 2016, Nasrallah receives Aoun in an undisclosed location. (The Daily Star/Hezbollah media office, HO)
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The influential Maronite Catholic Church has apparently given its blessing to the election of Michel Aoun as president as his rival, Sleiman Frangieh, vowed Monday to stay in the presidential race with hopes of winning the country's top Christian post.However, Frangieh, a key figure in the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition, said he would not drop out of the presidential race in favor of Aoun despite former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's support for the FPM founder.Frangieh, who was backed last year by Hariri for the presidency as part of an internationally backed initiative to end the power vacuum, acknowledged that Aoun has the largest representation within the Christian community.Despite Hezbollah's support for Aoun, Frangieh said he has full confidence in Nasrallah.The meeting came hours after Nasrallah announced that all 13 members of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc would attend the Parliament session to vote for Aoun.Nasrallah was clearly referring to Speaker Nabih Berri, who strongly opposes Aoun's election to the presidency.
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