Maronite Officials Discuss with al-Rahi 'National Pact Contradication'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A delegation from the Maronite institutions visited on Thursday Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi to brief him on the result of its talks with the country's top Maronite political leaders on the country's presidential crisis, stressing that the vacuum contradicted the National Pact.
Following its meeting with al-Rahi in Bkirki, the delegation issued a statement saying the failure to elect a president and the continued presence of the government contradicted the 1943 power-sharing agreement and abolished the Maronite president.
Parliament should immediately elect a new head of state without doing anything else, the statement said.
The representatives of the institutions last met with MP Suleiman Franjieh, who reportedly stressed on Wednesday that he would vote for a “strong” presidential candidate if there was an agreement on him.
The officials have previously held talks with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, who is the March 14 alliance's candidate, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Kataeb party chief Amin Gemayel.
An Nahar daily quoted sources as saying on Thursday that Franjieh stressed during the meeting, which took place in his residence in Bnashii, that Lebanon's next president should be “strong.”
He told the delegation, however, that he “did not mind to agree on a strong candidate and contribute to guaranteeing a quorum (in parliament) even if he did not want to vote for a certain candidate.”
Franjieh was among the majority of the March 8 alliance's lawmakers who boycotted several rounds of parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a president under the excuse of lack of consensus on a compromise candidate.
The resulting lack of quorum left a vacuum at Baabda Palace after the expiry of President Michel Suleiman's six-year term on May 25.
Al-Rahi has repeatedly warned that Lebanon's power sharing agreement would be affected if there was a vacuum in the country's top Christian post.
Under the National Pact of 1943, the president should be a Maronite, the speaker a Shiite and the prime minister a Sunni.
The head of the Maronite League, Samir Abilamma, said following the delegation's talks with Franjieh on Wednesday that the vacuum at Baabda should be resolved “because it threatens the pact, which is the backbone of the national entity.”
The statement that he read appealed for unity to “salvage the Republic.”
It also urged all Lebanese leaders and mainly Christians to “assume their responsibilities towards the Lebanese and history.”
Abilamma stressed that the efforts exerted by the Maronite institutions would not stop until “the election of a new president who works on leading the country” and “introducing the true patriotic feeling in all institutions.”