World Bulletin / News Desk
The Lebanese Forces (LF) Party announced Friday that it had nominated LF leader Samir Geagea as the party's candidate in Lebanon's upcoming parliamentary vote to choose a new president.
"The party's executive body has unanimously decided to nominate Geagea for the presidential elections," party deputy head George Adwan said.
Geagea is the first candidate to be officially nominated for a May 25 parliamentary vote in which the assembly will choose incumbent President Michal Suleiman's successor.
"The decision [to nominate Geagea] is meant to ensure that the state provides the one and only guarantee to achieving justice, freedom and independence, while maintaining diversity amid chaos and the proliferation of illegal weapons," the LF's Adwan said.
He added that Geagea's nomination would break Lebanon's ongoing cycle of "choosing presidents who have no real positions."
Geagea, 62, played a key role in Lebanon's civil war (1975-1990). His right-wing LF Party is an offshoot of the Kataeb paramilitary, which he also led at one point during the war.
In 1994, Geagea was arrested and charged with bombing a church northeast of Beirut. Although he was acquitted in the church bombing case, he was later sentenced to death in the same year after being accused of assassinating former prime minister Rashid Karami.
Then-president Elias Hrawi, however, commuted the sentence to life behind bars while formally dissolving the LF Party.
Geagea was pardoned in 2005 by the Lebanese Parliament, which was formed shortly after the withdrawal of Syrian forces from the country.
He has since returned to politics and is now a prominent figure in Lebanon's anti-Damascus March 14 alliance.Last Mod: 04 Nisan 2014, 17:01