Geagea endorses Hezbollah-backed Aoun presidency bid in Lebanon

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Lebanese Christian politician Samir Geagea has endorsed the candidacy of his rival Michel Aoun, in a major boost for Hezbollah-backed Aoun and his supporters in their bid to fill the power vacuum in the Arab country.

Sitting alongside Aoun, Geagea made the highly-anticipated announcement on Monday in a televised news conference, urging his allies in the March 14 alliance to support Aoun’s candidacy.

The endorsement could boost Aoun, the leader of the March 8 Alliance, in his attempt to fill the presidency that has been vacant for 20 months. However, the seasoned Christian politician may need the backing of other groups to secure the necessary parliamentary support to become president.

Speculations had been raised over the past weeks about the possibility that Geagea may endorse Aoun.

Delegations have been exchanged between the two arch-rivals in Lebanon's political arena, local media said, with both reportedly opposed to an initiative being put forward by the former prime minister Sa’ad Hariri that would see Sleiman Frangieh, another Christian politician, become president.

The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has consistently backed Aoun’s bid for presidency.

“We gave him (Aoun) our word and he has the priority,” Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah told Frangieh during a meeting in early December.

Since May 2014, when former President Michel Sleiman ended his time in office, Lebanon has been without a president. Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and March 8 allies have boycotted the cabinet sessions over sharp differences regarding military and security appointments.

The rival March 14 alliance had earlier endorsed the candidacy of Geagea for Lebanon’s top post, which is reserved for a Christian.

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