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Siniora’s Comments Drive Confusion in Lebanon, Necessitates his Apology from Berri, Salam | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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MPs gather in Parliament on Monday/National News Agency

Beirut- The comments of head of the Future parliamentary bloc, Fouad Siniora, created confusion in the political arena on Monday when his words were placed out of context, driving requests he should apologize from each of Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tamam Salam.

Following a failed 43th parliament session to elect a president in Lebanon, Siniora said the insistence of head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, MP Michel Aoun to be nominated for the presidential seat in the spirit that he is the strongest Christian leader means that head of the Future Movement Saad Hariri would become the country’s Prime Minister, and that head of the so-called Hezbollah parliamentary bloc MP Mohammed Raad would become the country’s Speaker.

Sources close to Siniora told Asharq al-Awsat that in his comments, the head of the Future parliamentary bloc was sending a message to Aoun and his political team and not to Berri and Salam, adding that it was not an issue of who was the strongest in his own sect.

The source said: “The legacy of any new president is taken from his capacity to achieve national unity and bring together the ideas of the different parties.”

He added that Siniora and the Future movement were attached to Berri and Salam in the current phase until solving the crisis the country is going through.”

Aoun insists he should be elected president in the spirit that he owns the biggest Christian parliamentary bloc.

On Monday, the Future movement reiterated its support to the nomination of Marada movement MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidential seat.

In his press conference from Parliament, Siniora said: “The issue of electing a new president is similar to the election of a prime minister and a speaker, and therefore, it is not restricted to Christians, but should include all parties.”

Vice-president of the Future Movement, Antoine Andraos denied the presence of a basket through which parties agree on the country’s three top leaders: the president, the prime minister and the speaker.

Andraos told Asharq Al-Awsat: “There is a priority to elect a new president without any conditions.”