Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh told ex-PM Saad Hariri during their latest meeting that he will not withdraw from the presidential race in favor of Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun and that he would only make such a move if there is an agreement on a third candidate, a media report said on Sunday.
“Franjieh reminded Hariri that they had agreed that he would only withdraw from the presidential race in favor of a third candidate and not in favor of Aoun,” al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted informed sources as saying.
“We have built confidence between us but we have not agreed on my withdrawal. Anyway I must warn you that should you agree with Aoun, you will face a situation similar to the one that then-president Amin Gemayel faced in 1988 when he appointed Aoun as premier,” the daily quoted Franjieh as telling Hariri during the meeting.
The Marada chief repeated his warning in a tweet that followed Wednesday's presidential vote session.
Franjieh was referring to Gemayel's decision to leave the country in 1988 in the wake of an assassination attempt after Aoun reportedly told him that he was not able to protect him.
“To cut it short, you are here to inform me that you have decided to endorse General Aoun. If you have this intention, I understand your circumstances and I do not blame you, and you know that I mainly blame my allies who did not back my nomination after you endorsed it,” Franjieh reportedly added, addressing Hariri.