PSP: Taymour to Run Normally in Elections, Remarks on 'Ceding Seat' to Him in May Inaccurate
The Progressive Socialist Party clarified Tuesday afternoon the content of an interview for party chief MP Walid Jumblat with As Safir newspaper, noting that his son, Taymour, will run normally in parliamentary elections “just like other candidates.”
The line saying “Jumblat will hand over his Shouf parliamentary seat to his son Taymour in May” was “inaccurate”, the PSP said in a statement.
“Taymour will run normally in the elections, just like other other candidates,” the statement added.
In the interview published earlier on Tuesday, the PSP chief said Speaker Nabih Berri promised him to hold by-elections in May after the announcement of his resignation from parliament.
By-elections would then be held in “Shouf, Jezzine (to replace the late Michel Helou), and Zgharta – if Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh resigns from parliament to allow the nomination of his son Tony,” As Safir quoted Jumblat as saying.
Last year, Jumblat said that he would not run for a parliamentary seat but will remain a political observer.
“After 37 years in politics I have had a rich experience, which included some black marks, but it's up to history to write it... I will not write my biography... Let others do,” Jumblat said back then.
In his remarks to As Safir, Jumblat also accused Lebanon's Maronite Christians of being “suicidal.”
“I know that some people will get upset but I should tell the truth. Maronites are experts in committing suicide,” Jumblat said.
“Lebanon has become the sole focal point for the existence of Christians in the Orient.
“They should deal with the presidential elections with humility and pragmatism so that they preserve their role,” he said.
The PSP chief seemed not to be optimistic that a president would be elected soon as the vacuum at Baabda Palace approaches the one year mark.
He called for “coexisting with the vacuum and improving the conditions of the crisis' management by consolidating the work of the government.”
Jumblat also told As Safir that he would testify at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon next June. But that he would avoid talking too much.
Officials and journalists who were close to ex-PM Rafik Hariri have been testifying in court on the former prime minister's deteriorating ties with Syria, the neighboring country's increasing resolve to have more influence on Lebanon's internal affairs and growing concerns by the international community regarding the foreign political pressure exerted on Lebanon.
The STL is tackling the Feb. 2005 assassination of Hariri and 22 others in a major bombing on the Beirut seafront.
Jumblat, a centrist, criticized the March 14 alliance for “wasting a historic opportunity to change the course of events following Hariri's murder.”
“It ended up being without a political platform,” he said.