Al-Rahi Urges Berri to Hold Daily Parliamentary Sessions to Elect President

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi condemned on Sunday the ongoing vacuum in the presidency, describing it as a “great shame”.

He urged during his Sunday sermon Speaker Nabih Berri to “hold daily parliamentary sessions to stage the presidential elections in order to end the vacuum in the presidency.”

“The daily presidential elections sessions have become obligatory according to the constitution,” he stated.

“We say to those obstructing the elections, whether directly or indirectly, and those backing them on the internal and external scenes, that they are incurring major damage on Lebanon,” he added.

“Lebanon does not belong to anyone, but it belongs to all the people,” he stressed.

“We call on friendly nations to urge the Lebanese parliament to elect a new head of state in order to preserve the country's role on the Arab and international scenes,” said the patriarch.

Lebanon has been plunged in vacuum in the presidency since the term of President Michel Suleiman ended in May.

Eight elections sessions have been held, seven of which were boycotted by the March 8 lawmakers, mainly those of Hizbullah and the Change and Reform bloc, due to the ongoing dispute with the March 14 alliance over a candidate.

Head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun had repeatedly stated that he is willing to run in the elections if there is consensus over his nomination.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea is running on behalf of the March 14 camp and has repeatedly accused Aoun of obstructing the elections, demanding that he announce his candidacy.

The next elections session is scheduled for July 23.

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