BEIRUT — “For the moment, I have no plans or objectives concerning the Lebanese presidential election,” Gebran Bassil, President Michel Aoun’s son-in-law and head of the Free Patriotic Movement political party said in an interview with the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu. Aoun’s term in office expires in October.
Here’s what we know:
• According to Bassil, “It is about the mass popularity [of the future head of state] at the end of the legislative elections, scheduled for next May, as well as his political choices, such as the protagonists who will support him, his capacity to form a majority in the chamber, and its political and electoral program.”
• During the interview, which was published Thursday, Bassil clarified that the Mar Mikhael agreement, which his party signed with Hezbollah in 2006, had called for the party's “weapons to be placed within the state’s policy, without the goal being to disarm it.” Tensions have arisen in recent months in the alliance between the FPM and Hezbollah.
• Bassil highlighted that if the issue of Hezbollah’s weapons is resolved, his collaboration with the Shiite party could be achieved during the legislative elections adding to his comments made earlier this month declaring that FPM “made their calculations and obviously we are stronger if we go with Hezbollah during the election.”