Lebanon’s Army Commander General Joseph Aoun is opposed to the extension of his mandate, Lebanese political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
This comes as Parliament is preparing to hold a legislative session to approve the extension of the tenure of the country’s security chiefs, in light of the ongoing failure to elect a new president.
Such session will be the first to be held following the expiry of former President Michel Aoun’s term, at the end of October 2022.
Sources close to Speaker Nabih Berri said that the legal quorum for its convening has become secured, unless the Strong Lebanon bloc, headed by MP Gebran Bassil, reconsidered its participation due to pressure exerted by other Christian parliamentary blocs.
However, the presence of the Strong Lebanon bloc in the session is not sufficient to secure a quorum for its convening, without the participation of the deputies of the Democratic Gathering, headed by MP Taymour Jumblatt, and a number of Sunni deputies belonging to the National Moderation bloc.
Those have demanded that the extension of the term of the head of the General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, comes in parallel with that of the Director General of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), Major General Imad Othman, who will be retired in May 2024.
Parliamentary sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Moderation bloc will announce its position at a meeting to be held on Tuesday, in light of the session’s agenda.
Meanwhile, LAF Commander General Joseph Aoun anticipated the extension of the tenures of security and military chiefs by informing his circles that he was not concerned with such decision, as he retires on Jan. 1, 2024.
Thus, he has enough time to remain at the head of the military institution to assume his role in preserving the country’s stability.
In this context, a political source said that the LAF chief was against the extension of his mandate, as such decision could lead to confusion in the military hierarchy.