Jumblat: Democratic Gathering Not a 'Flock of Sheep'


Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat stressed Tuesday that the members of his Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc are not “sheep.”

“As a reminder, there is a diverse parliamentary bloc consisting of party members, independents and friends and it has its own opinion alongside the opinion of its chief,” Jumblat tweeted.

“Also as a reminder, the Democratic Gathering was the first bloc to announce a presidential nomination by nominating (MP) Henri (Helou), and the Democratic Gathering is not a flock of sheep,” he added.

“I wish they took the opinion of this diverse and democratic gathering into consideration, even if the extraordinary circumstances in the country require an extraordinary settlement,” Jumblat went on to say.

He added: “Regardless of the circumstances, let calm dialogue prevail.”

MP Alain Aoun of the Free Patriotic Movement announced Monday that ex-PM Saad Hariri will announce his endorsement of FPM founder MP Michel Aoun's presidential nomination “this week.”

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Hariri launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.

The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid argue that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.