Hezbollah pressing 'Christian MPs', was 'behind Alain Aoun's stance'


Hezbollah is seeking to secure one-half-plus-one of parliament’s votes for its candidate Suleiman Franjieh through “intensifying individual meetings with Christian MPs,” a parliamentary source said.

“It is trying to create a Christian bloc that would vote for Franjieh when a presidential election session is scheduled,” the source told the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper in remarks published Wednesday.

“Invitations are being addressed to Christian MPs who are either independent or belong to the Change and Strong Lebanon blocs. A separate meeting is being held with each MP and the positivities of his voting for Franjieh are being explained, amid promises that he would be supported financially, electorally and developmentally in (the) 2026 (elections) in the areas where Hezbollah has a presence,” the source added.

The source, however, noted that the reported meetings have failed to produce any relevant results.

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil has meanwhile thwarted “an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate the ranks of the FPM, after MP Alain Aoun voiced a stance against the presidential nomination of ex-minister Jihad Azour although the opposition’s components had agreed to that nomination,” the newspaper quoted parliamentary sources as saying.

“Hezbollah was behind Alain Aoun’s stance, which confused Bassil and pushed him to move towards Bkirki by dispatching MP George Atallah and to task MP Nada al-Bustani with joining the opposition’s talks in Paris with the International Monetary Fund, in an indirect message to Hezbollah that the FPM is still coordinating with the opposition in the presidential file,” the sources added.