Jumblatt, Gemayel back Hariri road map

The Daily Star

BEIRUT: The leaders of the Kataeb Party and the Progressive Socialist Party have hailed former Prime Minister Saad Hariri for prioritizing the presidential election in Lebanon.

Hariri’s “road map came at the right time,” Gemayel said, in remarks published Monday by the local daily Al-Mustaqbal.

He agreed with Hariri on the need to give “priority to the presidential election.”

The Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt also praised Hariri for “prioritizing” the presidential election.

“The presidency should come first [since]it is the path to address the crises in the country,” Jumblatt told Al-Mustaqbal.

“We should not tackle any issue before the presidential election,” he stressed.

During a televised speech Friday, Hariri called for the election of a new president and the withdrawal of Hezbollah from the war in Syria, as means to safeguard Lebanon’s stability and protect it from the consequences of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Hariri also stressed that breaking the two-month-old presidential stalemate was the key to holding parliamentary polls scheduled in November, while strongly rejecting any attempts to renew Parliament’s mandate.