The unknown outcome: The June 14 session and Jumblatt's ‘confrontation whistle’

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2023-06-09 | 00:49
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The unknown outcome: The June 14 session and Jumblatt's ‘confrontation whistle’
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6min
The unknown outcome: The June 14 session and Jumblatt's ‘confrontation whistle’

Days before the session that Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called for on the 14th of this month to elect a president, Walid Jumblatt blew the whistle of confrontation in a battle being waged by both sides of the conflict based on "do or die," warning, unless a breakthrough occurs in the last quarter-hour, as Lebanon would fall into the complete predicament that has been evident in its internal and external prohibitions.   

This article was originally published in and translated from the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar.  
Despite the ongoing bets on the assumption that the recent "surprising" positions witnessed in the past few hours were merely maneuvers within the framework of raising the negotiation ceiling, those involved in the presidential file expressed fear of the possibility of things spiraling out of control, especially with the announcement of the Democratic Gathering bloc's support for the nomination of Jihad Azour.  

This position, which the bloc announced after a meeting chaired by Jumblatt himself, was not surprising, but it shuffled the cards, especially among some "bettors" that Jumblatt would not go to a complete divorce with the Amal and Hezbollah duo.  

According to al-Akhbar, sources revealed that "Jumblatt practiced a "deception" by sending envoys to Ain al-Tineh, including MP Marwan Hamadeh, who informed Berri that the bloc would vote with a white paper." It appeared from the bloc's statement that it was "still evasive," with Azour's support and then calling on all forces to "adhering to the logic of real dialogue to complete the presidency as soon as possible."  

Jumblatt's announcement of Azour's candidacy, in conjunction with several developments, starting with Paris, in which it was announced that former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was assigned to manage the Lebanese file, passing through the assertion by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna "to work with Qatar in Lebanon to encourage a solution to political obstacles and economic difficulties," did not pass through.  

Noting that Doha is still leading the marketing campaign of Army Commander Joseph Aoun, leading to the meeting of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan on the sidelines of the meeting of the international coalition against "ISIS" in Riyadh.  

It was said that the Lebanese file was among the matters discussed. In addition to the meetings held by deputies in the Jumblatt bloc, specifically Wael Abou Faour, with the Saudi ambassador to Beirut, Walid al-Bukhari, who expressed a positive attitude towards Azour, and the issuance of a statement from the International Monetary Fund stating that Azour is on leave from his work during this period.  

These developments confirm the transfer of the presidential crisis to [another] place and that there is an external decision to aggravate the internal situation. It seemed difficult to anticipate the final scene of the presidential election session, which insiders say will not lead to a result except for more division and tension and the creation of new positions.   

Speaker Berri assured his visitors that the session was ongoing and that all possibilities were open during it. In response to a question about the position of the Democratic Gathering bloc, he answered that he that the meeting would adhere to the "blank vote." The next day, MP Wael Abpu Faour said that the bloc would give its votes to Azour, wondering about the reason for this position.   

He said that he does not believe that any of the candidates will win two-thirds or 65 votes in the first session and that the calculations of the first session will differ from the second session.   

He stressed that many deputies would vote with the "blank vote" to hide their true position and that the session would reveal part of the electoral game and the parties' positions, but everyone knows that the settlement has not yet matured.  

Regarding the Saudi position, Berri clarified that he was not informed of any new Saudi position and that the French position is still steadfast in supporting the settlement that brings Sleiman Frangieh to Baabda Palace.   

He pointed out that the changes that took place in France were administrative and had nothing to do with the position on the Lebanese side.  

Regarding his relationship with Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, Berri considered that the patriarch's clarification of what was reported about him towards Ain el-Tineh cuts off speculation and wrong bets on the deterioration of the relationship with Bkerki.   

It is scheduled that Berri will receive the delegate of the Patriarch, Archbishop Abdel Sater.  

According to al-Akhbar, the launch of an intimidating media campaign led by a Lebanese media station was remarkable, which considered what was happening as a "blow" to the Amal and Hezbollah duo. It gave the matter a sectarian dimension by discussing a "blow" the Shiite duo received.   

These were words that were echoed strongly during the past hours among the Lebanese Forces in particular, in addition to the deputies who signed a petition supporting Azour and announced it from the home of MP Michel Moawad.  

On the other hand, it became apparent during the past hours that there is a tendency for some independent and Change MPs to vote in favor of the former minister, Ziyad Baroud, amid unclear information that there are those working behind the scenes, including those close to the Free Patriotic Movement, for Baroud to obtain a good number of votes (exceeding ten) to present him in the next stage as an alternative candidate for Azour.
 

Lebanon News

Press Highlights

Lebanon

Presidential

Election

Session

Parliament Speaker

Nabih Berri

Walid Jumblatt

Jihad Azour

Sleiman Frangieh

Democratic Gathering

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