Makari Rejects Political Apathy, Warns of Extending Presidential Vacuum Periodإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Deputy Speaker Farid Makari slammed the political apathy, warning of extending the period of presidential vacuum over the sharp differences between the rival parties.
“Before May 25 the political arch-foes were enthusiastic to elect a new president... but now each alliance is reconsidering its stances, which might affect the period of vacancy,” Makari said in a interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.
The March 14 official considered that Lebanon is at a “crossroads”, holding Christians responsible for the presidential deadlock for failing to attend the parliamentary sessions set to elect a new head of state.
“I am convinced that you can't do a mistake and blame others.”
The official warned that “the vacuum status will remain for a long period if parties failed to reach consensus as the international community is more interested in the country's security and stability.”
Makari considered that the candidacy of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea isn't “a matter of stubbornness,” pointing out that the March 8 foes will not accept any other March 14 candidate.
“They (the March 8 alliance) want a president made by them... Geagea will remain our candidate until the second coalition realizes that its endeavors are worthless.”
Makari expressed belief that the March 8 alliance will not adopt the candidacy of Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun.
Asked if the rapprochement between al-Mustaqbal leader Saad Hariri and the FPM will lead Aoun to Baabda, the deputy speaker said that “the ex-PM has no vetoes on any candidate as long as the Christians agree on him.”
“The upcoming president should be strong... Who is aware of the country's needs,” Makari added.
Lebanon has been plunged into a leadership vacuum after Michel Suleiman's presidential term ended on May 25 with rival political blocs still divided over a new leader.
Over the past two months the parliament convened five times to try to elect a successor to Suleiman but failed during the last four sessions due to a lack of quorum.
On the ongoing debate over the powers of the executive authority amid the presidential vacuum, Makari said: “The constitution is clear. The government as a whole should assume the tasks of the presidency.”
The presidential vacuum raised fears that it would affect Lebanon's power-sharing agreement under which the president should be a Maronite, the premier a Sunni and the speaker a Shiite.
The cabinet assumes the executive tasks of the president as stated by the constitution until a new head of state is elected.
“The ministers as a whole body should assume the jurisdiction of the presidency by the majority of votes. If the 24 ministers should agree on each matter on the agenda then it would become a caretaker cabinet.”
Makari told Asharq al-Awsat that he doesn't object on staging the parliamentary elections within the presidential vacuum.
“The only matter of difference would be on the electoral law.”