Claire Shukr wrote in “Nidaa Al-Watan”:
Whatever the justifications given by the head of the “Marada Movement” Suleiman Franjieh to explain the circumstances of his going to the house of the Saudi ambassador Walid al-Bukhari, it will be difficult for him to convince the Christian public opinion of the importance of these justifications, especially since the news tape of the Saudi ambassador has shown and will show that he is ready to meet a wide range of personalities from While sitting in its offices or salons… except in the case of the most prominent “candidate” for the presidency of the republic. The latter decided to visit instead of being visited. Indeed, his move will be difficult to digest.
However, the issue is not here. For formalities do not advance or delay, but it is assumed that the Zghartawi Pole is working to penetrate the depth of the Christian arena, address its audience, and break the barrier formed by the rejection of its most prominent parties, that is, the “Free Patriotic Movement”, “the forces” and the “brigades”, and therefore every step it takes will have an impact on This street, and its balance that adorns it with much deliberation and caution.
As for the practical realities, the presidential scene is still under the influence of Saudi involvement in the Lebanese file after a period of indifference, which was titled “positive neutrality” in the last stage. In other words, the Kingdom will not pressure its allies to accept any candidate, in return for lifting the veto on all candidates, including Franjieh. However, for these two rules, there is a third parallel rule, albeit unannounced, which is the non-involvement of Saudi Arabia with any political or financial support for the new era, at least in the foreseeable future and on the basis of “do whatever you want and we do whatever we want”, which opens the door to questions about the ability of the supporters of the new era. Franjieh is rolling a snowball of his support and enlarging it as long as the regional umbrella is not knitted with the needle of “solidarity and solidarity.”
In this context, observers see that the announcement by the “National Moderation” bloc of its refusal to boycott any electoral session raises the stakes of the candidate who protects the Taef Agreement, and thus it says without announcing that it supports the arrival of the head of the “Marada Movement”, which is not surprising and does not reflect a development. What is in the Saudi position, insofar as it reflects the regional and electoral interests of this group in Franjieh’s accession to the palace. It does not mean at all that the dominoes of Franjieh’s support have begun to fall…
Where is Walid Jumblatt?
From here, the eye is on Walid Jumblatt. It is expected that the head of the “Progressive Socialist Party” will explain, next Monday, the reasons for his bloc’s position on the presidential election in light of two factors: First, his close relationship with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, which allows the latter to deal with the votes of the “Democratic Gathering” bloc, or most of them, on the basis of It is “in the pocket”. Secondly, the shift in the Saudi position in moving from the box of rejection of Franjieh to the non-objection of accepting him as president.
However, those familiar with the position of the head of the “Progressive Socialist Party” assert that many considerations prevent him from joining the caravan of supporters of the head of the “Marada Movement.” He conveyed this frank and clear position to those he met during the recent period, to make it clear unequivocally that “there must be a president from outside the alignments.”
According to them, Jumblatt’s considerations are summarized as follows:
– There is no doubt that Walid Jumblatt is one of the most clever politicians in swimming with the current of regional developments, just as he is not one of the suicidal people who face fierce storms, especially those coming from abroad. However, he may have his own merits that make him inclined to a president from outside the alignments, who, with his arrival, maintains balance in the country and does not make it “wild” in favor of one group against another.
– Jumblatt does not deceive when he says that the future belongs to Taymour Jumblatt, and does not practice the policy of hiding behind a finger, because inheritance is really tied to Taymour. And the latter, as is known, has his own approach to the Lebanese structure, the rules for dealing with public affairs, and how to build a state, which is almost inconsistent with his father’s vision, if we do not say opposition. From this aspect, Timur does not favor submitting to a settlement that would revive the combination that has held the reins of the country since the nineties of the last century, even if he is the heir to one of its ribs. However, this does not mean that the father and his son are not in agreement or harmony in the presidential file, especially since it was Walid Jumblatt who had previously said in one letter that he considers Michel Moawad to be a challenge candidate for a team, just as Franjieh is a challenge candidate for a team. He still has his opinion.
– The head of the “Progressive Party” will not take a step forward that would make him on the opposite side of the Christian forces. As long as they reject the arrival of the head of the “Marada Movement,” he will not bypass them. And he will reaffirm in his media appearance the constants that govern his position on the presidency, regardless of the name of the president: that he should not be first rejected by the Christians, that he should be accepted by most of the Lebanese forces in the sense that he should not come in the way of the victor and the vanquished. To have a clear reform plan. Not to expose Lebanon to any internal or external confrontation with the Arabs.
In this sense, the name becomes for him an elaboration, to equate with that, Franjieh with others. It is important that these specifications be present with the nomination.
The impact of the Arab summit
However, there is a dependence on the part of Franjieh’s supporters that the final statement issued by the Arab Summit will be a decisive station in the Lebanese election, especially if it includes an explicit call for the Lebanese to quickly complete their presidential election, which may embarrass some political forces and push them to Parliament, thus confusing them. Suleiman Franjieh will emerge as president of the republic as long as his opponents are unable to agree on a competing candidate.
On the other hand, others underestimate the importance of this scenario, considering that the statement that will be issued will be classic without the elements of implementation, especially if it is not accompanied, for example, by a decision to form a follow-up or supervision committee. This means that there is virtually no effect on any statement that might be issued by the summit.
Let the ball remain in the Lebanese court. It seems that Gebran Bassil is the one who shares the most in using this game.