15/12/2022

Christian Front of Lebanon says presidential vote has become a mockery, calls all pro-sovereign MPs to a sit-in in parliament

Lebanon has been without a president since the end of the term of Hezbollah Ally Michel Aoun on 30 October. The president of Lebanon is, by power-sharing convention, always a Syriac Maronite. The presidential candidate who has managed to get the most votes in several rounds, albeit not yet the majority of the vote, is the MP from Zgharta Michel Moawad, a staunch opponent of Hezbollah. The other candidate is the pro-Syria and pro-Iran MP, Sleiman Frangieh. Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil is eager to succeed his father-in-law Michel Aoun but has failed to gain sufficient support and is internationally controversial.

ASHRAFIEH, Lebanon —  In a statement issued yesterday, the Christian Front of Lebanon called on all pro-sovereign Lebanese Members of Parliament to hold a sit-in in the weekly parliamentary session to protest the obstruction of the vote on a new Lebanese president. In its statement, the Front expressed its astonishment at the frustration and extortion methods used by Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies – which includes the Free Patriotic Movement of the Syriac Maronite Gebran Bassil – to elect a new president. The Front described the current paralyzed vote process making a mockery of the presidential office.

The Front demanded all members of parliament in the next session of parliament take their electoral responsibility and elect a sovereign president who will restore the dignity and independence of Lebanon. The only and deplorable alternatives are a president who will explicitly favor Iran and its axis, or a president in name only but who has no power whatsoever and will be a partner in further exacerbating collapse, poverty, and corruption. The Front’s call came after its weekly meeting at its headquarters in Ashrafieh. In its statement, it condemned all attempts to turn the presidential vote into what it described as a “Dialogue of the Deaf”.

In the statement, the Front also denounced the repeated calls by Amal leader and the untouchable Shia speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, for a dialogue between the parliamentary blocs to elect a president for Lebanon. It considers Berri’s calls a travesty and argues that such calls violate democratic principles and the role of MPs as representatives of the Lebanese people.

The Christian Front for Lebanon concluded by calling on all Lebanese to rise up against the Iranian occupation of their land and not to succumb to political settlements at the expense of their dignity, security, and existence.