Al-Rahi Reiterates Calls For Formation of New Cabinet to Oversee Presidential Elections

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi reiterated on Wednesday in his Christmas sermon calls on officials to bridge the gap and exert efforts to form a new cabinet capable of overseeing the upcoming Presidential elections.

Al-Rahi stressed during the Christmas mass held at Bkirki the importance of the formation of a new cabinet to end the political deadlock.

He also called for the establishment of a new electoral law.

Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam was appointed in April but has so far been unable to put together a government over the conditions and counter conditions set by the rivals parties as fears mount that the differences between the March 8 and 14 camps would lead to a vacuum the presidential post.

The mass, which was attended by President Michel Suleiman, was preceded by a behind-closed door meeting between al-Rahi and the President.

Suleiman's six-year tenure ends in May 2014.

The President had recently suggested the formation of a government capable of staging the elections regardless if it does not enjoy parliament's confidence.

The March 8 camp however rejected the proposal, deeming it unconstitutional.

Al-Rahi called on Suleiman during his sermon to hold on to his stance regarding the formation of a cabinet ahead of March 25, two months prior to the expiration of the president's mandate.

"The constitutional and legal truth should be always said," al-Rahi added.

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat and several officials also joined the mass.

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