Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Suleiman [President] Resurfaces

News of a possible March 14th-agreed constitutional amendment tailored to Army Commander Michel Suleiman’s presidential hopes is making the rounds today.

Two March 14th MPs - Elias Atallah and Ammar al Houri [Future Movement] – have already voiced their support for the move while statements from both Walid Jumblatt [PSP leader] and Samir Geagea [LF leader] have revealed the rapid changing of positions and alliances on the ground, in light of developments surrounding the Presidency.

More specifically, Jumblatt claimed that his recent change in tone and positions was based on “international and regional data”, highlighting the possibility of a US-Syria deal at Annapolis this week that could have repercussions on the Lebanese scene.

Those repercussions were described by Future Movement MP, Mustapha Alouch, as providing the Syrian regime with “some assurance over the future course of the peace process” before it disengages itself from Lebanon’s domestic affairs.

Meanwhile, media outlets in Lebanon continue to be flooded with reports of high level manoeuvring surrounding moves to place Suleiman in the presidential seat.

This as the Army Commander himself arrived at Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s residence earlier this afternoon. Suleiman’s visit follows an earlier visit by Suleiman to the Sunni Grand Mufti Rashid Qabbani and comes on the heals of a visit by former Premier Najib Mikati to Berri in which the Army Commander’s virtues were extolled.

We’ll save further commentary on the situation for later when things will, hopefully, be further clarified. For a review of past commentary on Suleiman click here; for a review of commentary on Syrian-US-Israeli negotiations involving Lebanon click here and here.

18 comments:

  1. Arabic Coffee Pot6:09 PM

    There are rumors that the Patriarch is against Suleiman and that Hizballah might use Aoun to scuttle it - if it is a result of Syrian acquiescence to US demand to get rid of Hizballah.

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  2. Jimmy6:12 PM

    NAHARNET UPDATES

    2:40 Al-Moustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri received in separate meetings the French Charge D'affaires, The U.S. ambassador and ex-MP Nassib Lahoud.

    2:00 Aoun said he will consult legal authorities regarding amending the constitution to elect Gen. Suleiman president and "we'll comment after that."

    2:37 Gen. Suleiman arrived at Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's residence shortly after al-Moustaqbal Parliamentary Bloc accepted a constitutional amendment allowing his election for president.

    1:24 Al-Moustaqbal Parliamentary Bloc announced that it accepts a constitutional amendment allowing the election of Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman president

    12:38 Army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman meets Grand Mufti Mohammed Qabbani. Suleiman assured Qabbani that the military is fully aware of the risks facing Lebanon.

    12:35 Former cabinet minister Michael Daher said the constitution cannot be amended because Parliament has been turned into an electoral body.

    12:30 Former Prime Minister Najib Mikati appealed for end to agitation.

    11:28 Sfeir meets former MP Tammam Salam.

    11:25 Aoun meets a delegation of the General Federation of Labor Unions headed by Ghassan Ghosn.

    11:18 Prime Minister Fouad Saniora meets former cabinet minister Fouad Butros.

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  3. Jimmy6:18 PM

    Hizballah is also saying that this is a fake by m14 and that an amendment is not possible...

    ...maybe they are right or maybe they are just trying to find a way to block Suleiman?

    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&140E0E198ED39744C22573A10054CC01

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  4. Anonymous6:34 PM

    One would think he is the ideal candidate:

    For both sides, an individual with the background and character to be as independent as a Lebanese President can be.

    To M8, an admirer of the resistance who is not M14 who does not view Syria with out and out hostility

    To M14, a man ready to take on those that threaten lebanese sovereignty, even if they are allied to or controlled by Syria as shown at Nahr el-Bared, who is not M8. A second ex-general with the ear and respect of HA and if anyone is going to get them to enter the army fold it will be those 2. And he is not Aoun.

    As far as concensus goes, he seems to be ideal.

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  5. True Blue8:40 PM

    It only looks that way on the surface, like Lahoud looked good on the surface in 98, but in reality he is Syria's man and no not independent!!

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  6. While the debate between the Opposition and the Government is sill running high, with the Hezbollah’s arms dossier topping the agenda, other Lebanese factions are arming themselves, to fight other Lebanese.

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  7. Anonymous3:59 AM

    its illegal to change the constitution now, the parliament can only elect now, not make amendments.

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  8. No one seems to care that this is all in direct breach of Article 75 of the constitution?

    What a freaking shame that nobody bothers to read that piece of toilet paper they call the Lebanese constitution.

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  9. Guys from one Micho to another? come on. B.V is right the constitution is once again being raped.
    What is wrong with the Lebanese today? are we seriously considering another, half witted, orders obeing (mainly from Syria)army thug to lead this country?. Doesn't the constitution hold any ground anymore?
    What a shame, no wonder Lebanon is in deep shit.

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  10. Anonymous12:22 PM

    yes, lets protect the constitution to the last drop of Lebanese blood. Its far more important than a few thousand trifling lives being lost...

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  11. IF they all choose to do another stupid amendment to the ragged piece of paper, that everyone laughingly calls a "Constitution", at least get it right this time! The "amendment" should read that the current head of the Army automatically becomes President of Lebanon and avoid all this turmoil.

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  12. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Guys, do you think this is a trap or something?

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  13. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Seriously,

    article 49 of the constitution should be completely discarded. From now own, the maronites have one and only one candidate for presidencies till kingdom comes: army commanders. A military junta will be back to rule this country, 2nd intelligence bureau and nice things like that. Now 9 years of Lahoud rule followed by 6 by Suleiman, that makes it 15 years. Add to that 6 possible years of Michel Aoun , that makes it a decade of military rule. And we claim we're deifferent than other arab countries ? Hell, Pakistan is better... Oh and by the way, whatever happened to shaker el abssi ? indeed a competent nationalistic army commander....

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  14. Arabic Coffee Pot11:51 PM

    Good comment anonymous!!

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  15. It's nothing but a bunch of balls in the air and everyone is a "juggler".

    Hezbollah is trying to keep the Aoun, Iran, Syria balls in the air.

    Syria is trying to keep the Iran, USA, Hezbollah, EU balls in the air.

    M14 is trying to keep the Batrak, LF, Druze,USA, EU, KSA, Sunni balls in the air.

    Batrak just has one ball - the "Christian President".

    Aoun doesn't know there is such a thing as a ball. He is the new "patriarch" with a very small "p", and can't be bothered by such mundane stuff.

    If I were the master "juggler" - I would go for the guy with the one ball ..... the Batrak. Whoever gets him, wins the "game".

    PS - the Sleiman ball was "dropped", and likely now out of play.

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  16. Anonymous2:41 PM

    so this is the US selling Lebanon?

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  17. It's more like Lebanon selling out for "Any President is better than no President". It's about Christian "fear", it's about a halted economy, and it's about a country that has gone "numb" with over a year of deadlock.

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  18. The USA doesn give a damn about Lebanon. The only interest it has into Lebanon is as an exchange pawn against Syria in the Middle-East. The USA is a lot more interested in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestine issue. So they will sell you guys to Syria and even Iran to get more free hand there. Remember they already did it once in 1991. And, as I said earlier, us (Frenchies and other Europeans) have no power to keep the Syrians at bay. We are a politico-military chicken and the US are a politico-military pimp... :-(

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