Report: Franjieh mulls withdrawal, Shiite Duo eyes Bayssari nomination
Qatar is carrying out intensive contacts with Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh to convince him to withdraw from the presidential race prior to the arrival in Lebanon of Qatari State Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz al-Khulaifi, a media report said, citing “credible” sources.
Franjieh’s withdrawal would open the door to “serious negotiations between the Qataris and the National Duo (Hezbollah and Amal) over a third candidate,” the sources told al-Liwaa newspaper in remarks published Saturday.
Sources close to Franjieh meanwhile said that he has promised the Qataris that he would consult with his allies over the choice of withdrawing from the race.
The Shiite Duo is meanwhile “leaning towards the choice of mulling the nomination of Maj. Gen. Elias Bayssari, who (for the Shiite Duo) is in the lead over all the other names contained in the list proposed by Qatar,” al-Liwaa said.
Sources involved in the negotiations meanwhile told the daily that “the election of a president might be imminent should the Qataris reach an agreement with Franjieh.”