Lebanon: Movement to elect a president changes the calculations of Franjieh’s opponents
The Lebanese arena is witnessing a state of alert for the political forces, after the election of the presidency entered a countdown stage. Its scene imposed a deadline for Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri that a president for the country should be elected at the latest on June 15, and before the end of the term of the Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh, next July.
And on the impact of the intense internal diplomatic movement to create a breach in the presidential stalemate and urge the political parties to expedite the election of a president and seize the positive external climates, on which Berri also relies in his time limit, to reflect on Lebanon, Yazid, the head of the “Marada Movement” Suleiman Franjieh, the candidate for the presidency of the republic He is supported by Hezbollah and the Amal movement, and is considered the most prominent ally of the Syrian regime. He visits diplomats, the last of whom was the Saudi ambassador, Walid al-Bukhari, to test his presidential chances and try to send messages not to “veto” him from the Saudis.
The opposition is changing its approach
On the other hand, the forces opposing Franjieh expanded the circle of their consultations, to prominently include their opponents in politics, especially the “Free Patriotic Movement” (headed by Representative Gebran Bassil), in a move in which they changed their approach to the merits, after they became certain that their first candidate, Representative Michel Moawad, had no chances.
These forces sensed a serious danger in the possibility of electing Franjieh, especially in light of the media and political pumping that Paris adhered to it, especially in the event that Berri surprised everyone and called for a session to elect a president. ) Or trying to deliver a candidate who remains for her better than Franjieh.
According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed information, “The nomination paper for Representative Michel Moawad has ended, and the search today is based on the lines of the former Minister of Finance, the senior official in the International Monetary Fund, Jihad Azour, and the army commander, Joseph Aoun, noting that the atmosphere until now indicates that the first’s fortunes have advanced, pending. The current decided its position between the two men.
A source in the “Free Patriotic Movement” revealed to “The New Arab” that “once our position is decided, we will announce it,” noting that the “movement” is closer to Azour than Aoun, in light of his differences with the army commander.
Sajea Attia: There is pressure to elect a president before the Arab summit
For his part, the deputy in the independent “National Moderation” bloc, Sajea Attia, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, “There is seriousness among the countries that are holding meetings on Lebanon to end the presidential crisis within weeks, and in my estimation there is pressure to elect a president before the expected Arab summit in Saudi Arabia in May 19, and there is negotiation between Christian forces, primarily, to agree on a candidate to compete with Franjieh, between Azour and the army commander.
Attia points out that “all the ambassadors we met stressed the need to elect a president for the republic as soon as possible, and there is pressure for the Christian forces to unite their position around one candidate who goes down to the session in Franjieh’s face,” considering that “President Berri may call for a session next week or after that at the latest. The competition will not be easy.
Attia points out that “the meeting that brought together our bloc, the day before yesterday, Thursday, with the Saudi ambassador, and there is confirmation that there is no veto on any Lebanese political figure, as the Kingdom does not enter into the game of names,” noting, on the other hand, that “the French are closer to Franjieh within an equation that includes receiving Diplomat Nawaf Salam, prime minister.
He believes that foreign developments, especially in terms of Saudi-Syrian relations, will reflect positively on Lebanon, but it is not possible to know in favor of which candidate it will pour.
On the side of the forces opposing Franjieh’s election, Representative Elias Hanakash, a member of the “Lebanese Kataeb” bloc (headed by Representative Sami Gemayel), told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “there is great pressure on all political forces to go towards electing a president, especially with the approaching maturity of the governorship.” The Banque du Liban next July, in a country that is in a state of bankruptcy and is grappling with the most serious economic, financial and monetary crises.
Hanakash believes that we are at a very dangerous crossroads, and the situation could be much worse, and there is worse than what we are living in today, and everyone must bear responsibility. He indicates that there are meetings and consultations taking place to reach a common vision about an acceptable candidate, and the issue is not confined only to the opposition parties. There is thinking in a different way to expand the circle more and go to support a candidate who has the necessary specifications to save Lebanon, pointing out that communication also includes the “Free Patriotic Movement”. “.
Hanakash also refuses to reveal the candidate who is closest to meeting around him between Azour and the army commander, pointing out that talking about names is premature in the media, and we are working with the political forces that we are consulting with not to burn the names and enter the bidding game, until we reach an agreement that we announce officially, but the preparations Intense, and we are working as if the presidential election session is tomorrow. It is necessary for us to be present in the event that Berri is invited to a session, and at least we agree on our step at that time, whether by blowing the quorum or putting forward a name for the presidency.
Johnny Munir: It is unlikely that a president will be elected during the next two weeks or this month
Regarding external developments and their repercussions on Lebanon, Hanakash believes that there is a common ground between all ambassadors not to interfere directly with the presidential elections and names, and these are our convictions as well because the elections are an internal Lebanese affair. On the other hand, the doors of Lebanon cannot be open when the forces of the region are in conflict with each other We pay the price, while when agreements are reached, the country will be isolated from the desired stability in the region. Therefore, in our opinion, there are repercussions, whether direct or indirect, of what is happening regionally and internationally on Lebanon, and we must take advantage of this political moment, and work for what is in the interest of Lebanon.
Reflection of developments in the region on Lebanon
In a reading of the internal and external scenes, political writer Johnny Mounir tells Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the deadline set by Berri for the elections is exaggerated in my opinion, and he may have relied on regional developments, especially the Arab summit in Saudi Arabia, and the Syrian-Saudi developments, considering that it must We must first await the results of the Arab Summit, and of course the Lebanon file will be present in it, and I see here that the Syrian will be more proactive towards the Kingdom, as he needs Saudi Arabia.
Munir believes that all developments in the region will be reflected in Lebanon, but it is unlikely that a president will be elected during the next two weeks or this month.
On the other hand, Mounir considers that it is not possible to predict in favor of whom these developments will flow, whether with Franjieh or another candidate, but as it appears, the Arab Gulf American soul goes more towards a personality capable of reorganizing the country away from quotas and the influence of the political class, and these specifications Apply to the army chief.
Contrary to the atmosphere indicating a French adherence to Franjieh, Mounir believes that the French have backed down from Franjieh’s initiative, and it has become behind them, which was conveyed by the French ambassador, Anne Griot, to the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai, last Tuesday.
On the French position, a French diplomatic source explains to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that France does not interfere in the game of names, but rather works to bridge the distances between political forces and help find a solution, which Ambassador Griot conveyed to Al-Rahi in their last meeting.
In an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, an American diplomatic source stresses the need for “the political parties in Lebanon to find a quick solution to the presidency, which has been vacant since October 31 (the date of expiration of former President Michel Aoun’s term),” warning of “the danger of The end of the term of the governor of the Central Bank in the absence of a president for the country, which may have serious monetary and economic repercussions for Lebanon.
It should be noted that the position of governor of the Central Bank means a lot to the United States, which was accused at several stages of interfering in appointments and providing a long cover for safety despite the files of financial corruption hovering around it.