The Lebanese Forces and Phalange parties, parliamentary blocs and independent MPs announced on Sunday the candidacy of former minister Jihad Azour for the presidency of the Lebanese Republic.

At the end of a meeting between representatives of the Christian forces, Lebanese presidential candidate Michel Moawad announced his withdrawal in favor of Azour.

The meeting also affirmed their agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement headed by Gebran Bassil on Azour's candidacy, noting that he is a "centrist and non-provocative" figure.

On Sunday, the Lebanese National News Agency quoted the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, as saying that "consensus on the name of a candidate and the agreement of the main blocs to support him and give him the necessary representation is important for Lebanon."

He stressed that the movement seeks to get out of the presidential vacuum and the arrival of a president of the republic who enjoys the support of the movement to succeed without being the candidate of the movement, so the latter does not bear the burden of his mistakes if he fails.

Azour is director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department and previously served as finance minister in former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government.

In addition to suffering since 2019 from an unprecedented stifling economic crisis, Lebanon is witnessing a severe political crisis, as the parliament has failed in 11 rounds since last September to elect a new president to succeed Michel Aoun, whose term ended at the end of October 2022.