Head of Maronite church calls for compromise as deadlock over presidency continues.
The Hezbollah-led opposition has not yet officially endorsed Suleiman as an agreeable candidate.
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Suleiman is seen as a uniting figure, who both sides can support.
Lebanon is currently without a president after a fifth parliamentary vote to elect a successor to Emile Lahoud failed.
In the absence of a head of state, the government of Fouad Siniora, Lebanon’s prime minister, has assumed the duties of the presidential office.
Siniora has said that the government will not push through any major measures while it holds the presidential office after the opposition, which is also know as the March 8 bloc, called the move unconstitutional.
|Harb, a presidential candidate for the majority,
says he is against constitutional amendments
Parliament is scheduled to reconvene on Friday to pick a successor to Lahoud but several officials said that session was not likely to go ahead as more time was needed to agree on Suleiman’s candidacy.
The current crisis began last November when Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, pulled five of its MPs from the cabinet in order to gain more representation in government.
Hezbollah dropped its initial demand for a government of national unity in exchange for the election of a president favourable to its resistance activities against Israel, Lebanon’s southern neighbour.
However, the feuding sides have not been able to reach agreement on a president, threatening the prospect of two rival governments being set up.
Two rival administrations battled against each other in the final days of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war.
Despite the optimism from some MPs over Suleiman becoming a declared compromise candidate on which both sides could then vote into power, some are uneasy about making changes to Lebanon’s constitution.
“I am personally opposed to Suleiman’s nomination as it would be against democratic principles,” Boutros Harb, a March 14 MP member and a declared presidential candidate, said.
“I have nothing against him personally … but his appointment would amount to prostituting the constitution once again.”
Harb was referring to a Syrian-inspired constitutional amendment in 2004 that extended Lahoud’s six-year presidential term for another three years.
Mohammad Fneish, a Hezbollah MP said that the party’s agreement of Suleiman as president was dependent on the agreement of Michel Aoun, the March 8 bloc’s preferred candidate.
The presidential crisis is widely seen as an extension of the regional confrontation pitting the United States against Iran and Syria.
The majority bloc is supported by the US while the opposition draws support from Iran and Syria.
Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon in 2005 after 29 years in the country, amid an international outcry over the assassination Rafiq al-Hariri, a former prime minister.