Catholic Patriarchs Call for Formation of New Cabinet to Supervise 2013 Pollsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops called on Saturday for the formation of a new government capable of overseeing the upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections.
“Officials should reach consensus over a new electoral law and form a new cabinet that should seek reconciliation (among the Lebanese foes) and oversee the polls,” the council said in its final statement after a three-day closed-door meeting in Bkirki.
The council expressed fears over the political rift in the country amid the developments in the region, saying they “have a negative impact on unity.”
The closing statement echoed those of Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi after he called last week for the formation of a new government that resolves the country's economic and social problems and holds parliamentary elections on time.
Al-Rahi called for “dialogue and national reconciliation” to end the “divisions” among the country's politicians.
The council also urged officials to resume dialogue to kick off national reconciliation aimed at safeguarding the country and improving the economy situation.
The assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan on October 19 deepened the gap between the March 14 opposition and the March 8 alliance.
The opposition boycotted political activity with its foes after it blamed Prime Minister Najib Miqati's government for covering up the crime, calling on it to step down, and said it would not sit at the same dialogue table with Hizbullah.
Saturday's statement of the Catholic patriarchs urged people to spread dialogue in all sectors and be open to others to reach common grounds.
“Peace and reconciliation are our duties,” it pointed out.
Concerning the ongoing crisis in the neighboring country Syria, the council called for solidarity with the people in the region in their struggle for justice and their right to determine their fate and reject violence.
“We should extend our hand to the Syrian refugees,” the statement noted.
Lebanese are deeply divided between partisans and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad and fear is surging that the violence in Syria could spill over into Lebanon and fracture its fragile peace.
More than 150,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon, mostly in the northern region of Wadi Khaled, after Assad began using force to crush a popular uprising that erupted in March 2011.