Report: Al-Rahi's Call for Maronite Meeting Not Heeded
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi had recently attempted to hold a meeting for the main Maronite leaders in Lebanon, revealed the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Sunday.
It said however that “some sides were not receptive of this call.”
The patriarch's visitors told the daily that some Christian MPs and leaders are “uneasy” over his stances and are “imposing conditions” due to his support of the presidential initiative that is “backed by international powers.”
Mustaqbal Movement leader MP Saad Hariri had proposed in recent months a settlement that would see Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh elected president as part of a greater political initiative in Lebanon.
The suggestion was met with reservations from Christian Change and Reform bloc of the March 8 camp and Kataeb and Lebanese Forces of the March 14 coalition.
Al-Hayat remarked that these reservations were reflected over the Christmas holiday whereby tradition calls for Christian figures to congratulate the patriarch on the occasion by visiting Bkirki.
None of the major Christian leaders visited him this year, it noted.
Notable figures who visited al-Rahi were former President Michel Suleiman, MP Marwan Hamadeh, and Nehmetallah Abi Nasr, who is a member of the Change and Reform bloc.
Al-Rahi had on Thursday demanded “the election of a president as soon as possible” and “urged the political blocs to take the presidential settlement initiative seriously.”
Lebanon was plunged in a vacuum in the presidency after the end of the term of Suleiman in May 2014 without the election of a successor.
Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the polls.