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Geagea confirms alignment with March 14 despite nominating Aoun for presidency
 
 
 
 
 
 
21-01-2016
 
Lebanese Forces leader, Samir Geagea, on Wednesday maintained that he was still part of March 14 camp, despite his fresh nomination of his lifetime rival, MP Michel Aoun, for the presidency of the republic.

"Nominating Aoun has nothing to do with our political alignment and we are still within our coalitions. We will not change our principles. March 14 did not end; its project still exists," Geagea told an interview on MTV channel.

But the LF leader made it clear that the headway of the current situation on the domestic scene drove him to nominate Aoun, head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc.

Both Geagea and Aoun held earlier this week their first historic meeting at Maarab, after which the LF leader officially chose his opponent to fill the 19-month-long presidential vacuum.

His nomination came after former Prime Minister, Future Movement leader Saad Hariri, Geagea's ally, nominated rival MP Sleiman Frangieh for presidency.

But Geagea underlined that nominating Aoun was not a reaction to Hariri's initiative. "Nominating Aoun was not a childish reaction to Hariri nominating Frangieh. And, between Frangieh and Aoun, we choose Aoun," he said.

"We chose Aoun for presidency because Frangieh is an authentic part of March 8 camp, while Aoun is not," he explained.

"What drove us to nominate Aoun was the nomination of Frangieh. There is an absolute conviction of the step we have taken. It was not a reaction," he corroborated.

Geagea echoed MP Michel Aoun, who told an interview yesterday that his nomination by the LF leader was not a reaction to Hariri's initiative. "In fact, we've been talking about this issue since almost a year," Aoun said.

"The meeting with the Lebanese Forces is important to all the Christians; it is even more important than the elections," he added.

"My relation with Geagea must be positive and stable. Any problem that might occur will not be personal. This is a unique relationship and I expect it to be constructive," he said.

Geagea went on to explain that Aoun was more eligible to the presidency than Frangieh, considering that he represents more people than Frangieh does. "Aoun kind of resembles us, regardless of the disagreements for the past ten years."

He also confirmed that his party would always go to the Parliament to partake in the presidential polls.

However, Geagea underscored that the affair was now in the hands of Hezbollah. "Aoun is the candidate of March 8 camp. Therefore, March 8 must be at least serious with this candidacy, and Hezbollah confirmed it supported Aoun till the end; so, it has to prove it. The presidential polls are linked to how Hezbollah is serious (...) March 8 must provide quorum to elect Aoun."

In response to a question about Saudi Arabia, Geagea said that the Kingdom had helped Lebanon in everything, while, according to him, keeping away from any internal affair.

On the release of former minister Michel Samaha, the LF leader deemed the military court's decision as "a black stain on the forehead of the Lebanese judiciary."
 
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