Presidential election saga: Franjieh's chances after Nasrallah's speech

15 November, 2022
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Presidential election saga: Franjieh's chances after Nasrallah's speech

Parliament will fail again to elect a president on Thursday, al-Akhbar newspaper said Tuesday.

The daily reported that unless Hezbollah succeeds in convincing the Free Patriotic Movement to back the group's candidate Suleiman Franjieh, the election sessions will lead to the same results and Hezbollah will not vote for Franjieh.

Even though FPM chief Jebran Bassil is clear about his position regarding Franjieh's candidacy, there is still a possibility that he changes his mind, al-Akhbar said.

Thus, Hezbollah will continue its negotiations in order to give its candidate a Christian support or at least to secure the needed quorum to the session during which Hezbollah will vote for Franjieh, even if the FPM decides to attend without voting.

- Franjieh's chances -

According to al-Akhbar, Speaker Nabih Berri will try to convince Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat of voting for Franjieh instead of MP Michel Mouawad who is currently backed by the PSP, while Hezbollah continues its negotiations with Bassil.

France, the daily said, will not veto Franjieh, and Saudi Arabia as well might accept him. "It is not without significance that Franjieh was in the front seats during the Taif conference organized by the Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon, while Mouawad, backed by KSA, was in the back seats," al-Akhbar added.

The daily went on to say that Paris has sensed that Bkerki, the FPM, Berri, Jumblat and Hezbollah are leaning toward electing a president close to Hezbollah in return for a prime minister close to the West and to Saudi Arabia.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati had voiced on Monday his support for Franjieh, days after Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah openly announced that his party wants a new president for Lebanon who “would reassure the resistance.”


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