Lebanon ex-warlord in presidential race

Lebanon ex-warlord in presidential race
Updated 15 May 2014

Lebanon ex-warlord in presidential race

Lebanon ex-warlord in presidential race

BEIRUT: Former Lebanon warlord Samir Geagea, a staunch opponent of Syria and the Shiite movement Hezbollah, will stand for the presidency in May, his Christian Lebanese Forces party said on Friday.
Geagea, 61, was the only leader from the 1975-1990 civil war ever jailed, but was released under an amnesty in 2005 after Syria withdrew from Lebanon, ending 30 years of domination over its tiny neighbor.
Syria ended its military and political dominance under popular Lebanese and international pressure, but it continues to exert significant influence through allies, mainly Hezbollah.
Geagea is one of Hezbollah’s key opponents in Lebanon, and has repeatedly demanded that the movement, which never disarmed after the 15-year civil war, hand in its weapons.
He has also expressed support for the revolt against President Bashar Assad and denounced Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflict.
Last month, Geagea’s Lebanese Forces refused to join a new government finally formed after 10 months of political wrangling, citing Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria and its controversial arsenal.
Lebanese Forces deputy Georges Edwan announced Geagea’s candidacy, saying the party’s decision to back him is based on an “urgent need for radical change now.”