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Huge backlash at Aoun’s overblown promises

BEIRUT | June 19, 2014, 18h13
Par Sophie Spencer
The word is still out about whether Michel Aoun spoke in earnest when he promised to ensure Future Movement Leader, Saad Hariri’s safety in Lebanon if he was given a position of authority.
On Tuesday night in an interview on his Free Patriotic Movement’s television channel OTV, Michel Aoun claimed he could secure Saad Hariri’s security in Lebanon if he was elected president.

‘I assured Saad Hariri that I could guarantee his security by engaging in discussions with all the protagonists, but only as someone with responsibility. If I don’t have a post with responsibility, I cannot ensure his security if he returns to Lebanon’ he said.

Saad Hariri, the leader of the future bloc and son of Rafic Hariri the former Lebanese prime minister who was assassinated in 2005, has, for security reasons, been residing in Paris since his government collapsed in 2011. He was to meet this week with the Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt to search for a consensus candidate as Lebanon remains in political paralysis without a president.

The remarks of Aoun, who has his eyes on the presidency himself, caused a backlash in political circles with Aoun’s main rival, the presidential candidate and Lebanese Forces Chief Samir Geagea calling his promises ‘dangerous and threatening’. Telecoms minister Boutros Harb asked if Aoun had information on who assassinated Rafic Hariri and who would make attempts on Saad Hariri’s life that he provide the Lebanese justice department with such information.

Atef Majdalani, the Member of Parliament for Beirut and member of the future movement explained that Aoun’s comments reveal the criminality of his political allies, ‘In other words, those responsible for a potential assassination of Saad Hariri or those who put his security in danger are the allies of Aoun.’

Emile Rahme a deputy member of Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement attempted on Thursday at a press conference given to parliament to explain the comments of his leader who, he believed, had been misunderstood. ‘Michel Aoun wanted through his comments on the security of Saad Hariri to offer him a gift founded on reconciliation’ he said.
#Michel_Aoun, #SaadHariri, #Presidential_elections
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