President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, declared that “Foreign and Expatriates Minister Gebran Bassil’s statement over the final declaration of the Arab Islamic Summit of Sunday in Saudi Arabia is 100% correct”.
The Lebanese president’s announcement came after Minister Bassil said, on Twitter late Sunday:“We were not aware of the announcement in Riyadh; rather we thought that no statement would be issued after the summit and we were surprised by its issuance and content when we were on the plane returning to Lebanon.”
Bassil expressed his surprise over the concluding statement at Sunday’s Arab Islamic American Summit in Saudi Arabia and said that that “it was announced after our Lebanese delegation departed the Kingdom.”
Meanwhile, Economy Minister Raed Khoury was quoted as saying by the National News Agency while talking to Voice of Lebanon radio that “Saudi Arabia’s position towards Hezbollah and Iran is known, so there is nothing new that was said at the summit in Riyadh.”
Furthermore, “Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil explained the situation and focused on Aoun’s oath and Prime Minister Saad Hariri has the same direction and represents Lebanon,” Khoury concluded.
Concerning the elections, President Aoun Tuesday signaled his support for the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held under the disputed 1960 majoritarian law, which means that the parliamentary elections will be held in September, if no agreement on a new law is reached before June 20, thus averting a potential vacuum in the legislature or a new extension of the body’s four-year term, which was extended for another full term in 2013 and 2014 combined. “The extension of the cabinet means trampling on the Lebanese Constitution that we must respect.”
Referring to a raft of hybrid, proportional and qualification vote law proposals that have been floated by political rivals in the past few weeks in an attempt to end the standoff over what voting system to adopt for the upcoming elections, the president said, “There is a solution and it was possible to implement it had there been an agreement. But so far, a new vote law has not been endorsed. Let the people vote for what they want.”
General Aoun denied dropping his support for a vote law based on complete proportionality as proposed by Hezbollah and the Amal Movement. He said that parity between Muslims and Christians as dictated by the Constitution is not respected.
“I do not want the 1960 majoritarian law, but if we do not reach a solution, should I leave the country uncontrollable? Let the people vote for what he wants.” The president concluded.