Solution to Lebanon’s leadership crisis begins with stopping the ‘cancellation’ mentality, says Walid Jumblatt
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Press reports have stated that the political path leading to the election of Lebanon’s president was clearly drawn out by the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt, in a television appearance.
He pointed out the points of obstruction, reiterated the unified position between him and the head of the Democratic Gathering, Taymour Jumblatt, rejecting the challenging candidate and called for a settlement on a candidate with essential qualities with a socio-economic vision to put the country on a new path.
And while Jumblatt criticised the Shiite and Maronite duo, holding each party responsible for the country's presidential vacancy, he considered that bartering over the presidency and the government was a constitutional violation.
He called on everyone to abandon their ‘cancellation’ mentality and agree on a personality capable of taking Lebanon out of the crisis, discussing how to vote in the event of agreement on a specific personality.
Jumblatt had received a phone call from the Russian President's Special Envoy to the Middle East and North Africa, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, whose opinion on developments and discussions on the Lebanese situation were presented.
Bogdanov assured Jumblatt of Russia's keenness on the need to elect a president and establish stability in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, political sources reported representative Michel Moawad's insistence on sticking to his candidacy in exchange for the candidacy of former minister Suleiman Franjieh until the opposition can agree on another candidate.
He said it was illogical that there was no competitor for Franjieh at this stage, according to these sources, which indicated that the opposition has intensified its meetings to choose its candidate. Among the names reportedly approved by Bkerki are Army commander Joseph Aoun, former ministers Jihad Azour and Ziyad Baroud, MP Nehme Afram, and former MP Salah Hanin.
According to sources, Azour and Avram are ahead of the other candidates.
The sources attributed the delay in announcing the name of the Christian candidate to existing contacts with Representative Gebran Bassil after he had informed them of his acceptance of Ephram's support in return for knowledge of Hezbollah's intentions if it is ready to withdraw from Franjieh or not.
In light of this, the position of Bassil and the strong Lebanon bloc has yet to be determined, which means that the announcement of the opposition candidate will be delayed until next week, contrary to what was hinted at recently.