Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea launched on Sunday a scathing attack against President Michel Aoun and his son-in-law, head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Gebran Bassil, calling for the election of a president who will save Lebanon from its crisis.
Speaking an LF event commemorating its martyrs, Geagea described Aoun as the “weakest president in Lebanon’s history.”
“He sacrificed his people and nation for his personal gain,” he declared.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai sponsored the event that included opposition figures, but notably absent were representatives of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) of Walid Jumblatt.
“They have their Lebanon and we have ours. Their Lebanon is that of the resistance [Hezbollah] and their allies and which we are now living in,” continued Geagea.
“Our Lebanon is the one we witnessed briefly during the independence revolution,” he added.
“Their Lebanon is one of chaos, destruction, ruin, poverty and the non-state. Ours is a Lebanon of construction, order, progress, civility, prosperity and the state,” he stressed.
“Theirs is a Lebanon of humiliating queues at gas stations and bakeries and lack of medicine, electricity, and water. Theirs is a Lebanon of stealing the people’s deposits, smuggling and manufacturing of Captagon and solidarity and cooperation with the Syrian regime,” he added.
Their Lebanon prioritizes the interests of Hezbollah, not the Lebanese people, Geagea remarked.
On the upcoming presidential elections, he said: “They are obstructing the formation of a new government and as ever, are planning to obstruct the elections.”
“Of course, this is not aimed at proposing a specific reform plan, but to elect Gebran Bassil or any one of his allies as president to succeed Aoun,” he went on to say.
He slammed Bassil for claiming to “protect the rights of Christians,” saying it is a “lie” and that “no one has harmed Christians more than them. No has pushed Christians to immigration more than them.”
“We will not agree to any change in Lebanon’s identity and message. We will not agree to keep our country isolated and alien from its Arab fold or the international community,” he vowed.
“We will confront any project that will steer Lebanon away from its identity, past and history and threaten its existence, future and people,” he pledged.
“We want the election of a strong president, even if some believe that the theory of the strong president no longer stands. Our current president isn’t strong, but the weakest in Lebanon’s history,” he stated.
Aoun had long labeled his presidential tenure as the “strong term.”
“The people are counting the days until the end of the current term. We want a president who would challenge anyone who would deign to take a sovereign decision at the expense of the state, whether it comes to war and peace or its foreign policy,” Geagea remarked.
Aoun's term ends in October.
“We want a president who would defy everyone who brought us to this point and who would embark on saving Lebanon. This is the responsibility of the parliament that will elect the new president,” Geagea stressed.
“The elections are not decided by foreign powers or regional and international equations. They are a product of the internal will and vote of 128 lawmakers,” he continued.
“The first step in Lebanon’s salvation lies in the election of a salvation president,” he added.
Turning to the PSP, Kataeb party and Change MPs, he said: “We must seize the opportunity at hand so that we will not be held responsible for keeping our country and people in the pits of hell. History will not be kind to us.”