Bkirki Officials Say No Christian Rights Before Election of President

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has stressed that Christians will not be granted all their rights if a new president was not elected, Bkirki officials said.

The sources told al-Mustaqbal daily published on Friday that al-Rahi has informed all officials who have recently met him that “there is no solution to the rights of Christians before a head of state is elected.”

The patriarch “insists on filling the vacuum at the Baabda Palace before discussing any other request,” they said.

The sources were referring to demands made by the Free Patriotic Movement of MP Michel Aoun to grant Christians their rights in state institutions.

The FPM has lately launched a campaign against Prime Minister Tammam Salam accusing him of infringing on the powers of the Christian president after the government assumed his role.

President Michel Suleiman's six-year term ended in May last year amid a failure by lawmakers to elect a successor over their differences on a consensual candidate.

Aoun and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea are presidential candidates but their rivalry in addition to differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances have thwarted the elections.



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