Lebanon is witnessing political turmoil with Maronite Christian politician Suleiman Franjieh’s unexpected bid for the presidency. The candidacy of Franjieh, which is currently debated, a March 8 figure and a friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, may seem nothing out of the ordinary at first glance given Franjieh’s national eminence. However, the March 14 popular bases and other prominent political figures were shocked that Franjieh was nominated by Future Movement leader Saad Hariri, who is the No. 1 in the March 14 camp and Saudi Arabia’s close associate.
Franjieh’s bid may lead to the Future Movement losing some of its key Christian allies, such as the Kataeb Party and the Lebanese Forces (LF), which in turn could join the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) within the March 8 coalition, thus possibly creating further sectarian tension.