| 4 December 2023, Monday |

“Shiite Duo”: Bassil knew he was no candidate from the very beginning.

The Shiite duo in Lebanon are facing a real crisis after the “reward” was within their reach, but France withdrew its support after failing to market the candidacy of Marada Movement leader Suleiman Frangieh for the presidency. This initiative ran into opposition both internally in Lebanon and externally from the US and Gulf Arab countries.

According to informed political sources, France is not the same after this failure, and it wants to regain the initiative by intensifying its efforts towards the countries of the Quintet Meeting to come up with a new plan to reach a consensus on another candidate who enjoys the largest support, especially among the Christian community.

As for the Shiite duo, they told our website that there is no alternative other than Frangieh, and any other proposal is a continuation of the void. They did not rely heavily on France to begin with, but rather always relied on the domestic situation. However, all attempts by the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, have failed, including his latest attempt to convince Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, but he was unsuccessful.

Regarding the Free Patriotic Movement, the sources of the Shiite duo confirm that communication and meetings are cut off due to Bassil’s stubbornness in his stance, which is unjustified because he knew from the beginning that things are heading towards nominating Frangieh, not FPM leader Gebran Bassil. He could have understood this from the beginning, but he took extreme stances.

On the other hand, a diplomatic source confirmed to our website that France recognized the failure of its initiative, and is now seeking to work through the US and its Gulf allies to present an alternative formula in order to persuade the Lebanese parties to unite around a candidate who would be a substitute for Frangieh. France is working hard and intensifying its contacts to come up with solutions that satisfy everyone within a comprehensive framework, because the issue is not only related to the presidency, but also to the form of the next government and how it will work to solve the current crisis in Lebanon.

  • Sawt Beirut International