Prominent political sources in Beirut have confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the next stage will reshuffle the cards regarding the presidential elections, with the name of the army commander, General Joseph Aoun, presented as a candidate that enjoys regional and international support, without this implying a decline in the fortunes of the leader of the “Marada” movement. Former MP Suleiman Franjieh, although he did not officially announce his candidacy.
The same sources confirm that the advancement of the name of the army commander does not mean at all that the opposition has abandoned its support for MP Michel Moawad, and it will try to compensate for his decline by expanding the number of his supporters in the election session next Thursday, although indications say that the session will end as the previous ones.
The sources pointed out that the opposition is sticking, until further notice, to Moawad’s candidacy and will not abandon him. She says that she is in agreement with him to clear the arena in favor of a candidate who could constitute a meeting point with the “opposition” axis, provided that he is not an extension of former President Michel Aoun, or a continuation of his political legacy. This means, from her point of view, that abandoning Moawad’s support for the presidency will inevitably mean that there is no room for Franjieh to walk, even if he does not look like former President Michel Aoun.
The sources expect a reshuffling of the cards, perhaps in the first months of the new year. It says that support for the army commander’s candidacy must be a matter of understanding between the opposition, the “opposition” axis, and the deputies who stand in the middle of the road between the two axes.
The sources consider that the severance of communication between the opposition and the “opposition” axis hinders the search for a candidate who has the ability to move the country from the stage of crisis to the stage of détente, and enjoys international and regional support.