Report: Rahi Proposed One-Year Extension of Suleiman's Term

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has suggested the one-year extension of President Michel Suleiman's six-year tenure, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Al-Rahi made his proposal during talks with al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri in Paris last week, the daily said.

But Hariri expressed surprise at the patriarch's proposal, it added.

Al-Akhbar reiterated that the patriarch has suggested the names of former Ministers Ziad Baroud, Deminaos Qattar and Roger Deeb as possible consensus candidates for the presidency.

The report came despite repeated denials by al-Rahi that he backed a certain candidate for the country's top Christian post, which faces vacuum after May 25 if MPs failed to elect a new head of state.

Parliament was unable in the first and second rounds of the elections from electing a new president due to differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

A new round is set to take place this Wednesday although it is almost certain that the parliamentary session would face the same fate of its predecessors due to the boycott of March 8 lawmakers.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.