Mazloum Pessimistic over Election of New President

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Maronite bishop Samir Mazloum expressed pessimism on Friday over the near end of the presidential deadlock, stressing that Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi will not openly name those who are impeding the elections.

“The patriarch will not be ordered what to do or say,” Mazloum said in comments published in the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah newspaper, in response to calls by the March 14 lawmakers to name the sides that are obstructing the presidential election.

Mazloum stressed that al-Rahi's religious post and national duty prevents him from doing that, saying: “It's not the patriarch's duty to point fingers.”

“We have to locate the main source of the problem and solve it together. Not everyone is fully carrying out his duties,” the bishop told the daily.

Mazloum said that recent developments don't indicate that the election of a new head of state will be carried out soon.

He urged the Lebanese and Christians in particular to detect the danger of the stalemate, calling on MPs to head to the parliament as their “national responsibility compels them.”

Lawmakers failed for the 20th time on Wednesday to elect a new head of state over lack of quorum.

President Michel Suleiman's term ended in May without the election of a successor.

Hizbullah and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's Change and Reform bloc have been boycotting electoral sessions due to a disagreement with the March 14 camp over a compromise presidential candidate.



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