Presidential Elections Postponed to January 7 as Saniora Plays down Differences with LF

Fecha de publicación: 
17 Dic 2015

The 33rd presidential elections session was postponed on Wednesday following a lack of quorum at parliament.

Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled the next session to January 7.

Following the postponement, Mustaqbal bloc leader MP Fouad Saniora warned: “The ongoing vacuum will lead to more dangers against Lebanon.”

“The ongoing vacuum will compound the internal problems in the country on various levels,” he added.

“Constitutional institutions should be revitalized in Lebanon, starting with the election of a president,” he remarked from parliament.

Asked by reporters on the fate of the March 14 alliance given the dispute between the Musatqbal Movement and Lebanese Forces, Saniora responded: “All members of the alliance are still committed to it. We may have differences, but the vision is the same.”

“We respect differences among the various members of the camp. We should achieve harmony on other issues and principles,” he stressed.

LF MP Georges Adwan meanwhile made light of the differences between the LF and Mustaqbal, noting: “Differences between us had emerged in the past, such as in the formation of the cabinet, which we refused to be a part of, but they did.”

“This issue did not affect our ties with the movement,” he stressed.

Moreover, he urged the need for the adoption of a national settlement “that goes beyond the presidency.”

“Is the other camp prepared to accept such an initiative?” he asked.

“If we do not accept such a proposal, then we would simply be rehashing the current status quo, but with a puppet president and weak government,” he warned.

Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the polls.

Mustaqbal Movement leader MP Saad Hariri had in recent weeks between pushing for the nomination of Marada Movement MP Suleiman Franjieh as president.

The move sparked differences between the Movement and LF, seeing as LF leader Samir Geagea is a presidential candidate and Hariri's ally in the March 14 camp.

Franjieh's potential nomination has also been met with reservations from the Kataeb Party and Free Patriotic Movement.

Former FPM chief MP Michel Aoun is a presidential candidate and member of the March 8 camp along with Franjieh.

Aoun is not willing to withdraw from the presidential race, while Franjieh had previously said that he would not run for the position as long as Aoun is still a contender.