ASIA/LEBANON - Possible support of the Sunni "Future" Movement to the presidential candidacy of Aoun. Cautious optimism of the Maronite Patriarch

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 politics   international politics   elections   sectaniarism  

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - In the Lebanese political scene, paralyzed by a political and institutional crisis which for two and a half years has prevented the election of a new Head of State, there is news of a possible confluence of the Sunni political "Future" Movement, led by Saad Hariri, in the group of political forces willing to support the presidential candidacy of Maronite general Michel Aoun, leader of the "Free patriotic Movement", allied with the Shiite party of Hezbollah.
The Sunni Hariri and Maronite Aoun - report Lebanese newspapers - had a private meeting two weeks ago. The rumors of a possible alliance between the two, which would open the path to the Maronite Aoun to the Presidency, have triggered a negative reaction of the Speaker of the House Nabih Berri, leader of the Shiite Amal movement, which sees in the possible agreement on a new Sunni-Maronite axis aimed at marginalizing the Shiite political and social forces, recognized as an essential part of Lebanon's delicate political balance by the Taif Accords of 1989.
Expressions of cautious optimism about possible new developments have been expressed instead by Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai: "We hope, as we have always said", reiterated the Primate of the Maronite Church, answering the questions of Lebanese journalists "that all attempts materialize and do good to Lebanon and the Lebanese. I have not yet had the opportunity to meet Saad Hariri, but we hope that contacts are held, because after two and a half years of presidential vacuum, it is time that Lebanon has a President". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 19/10/2016)