Vatican Considers Presidential Elections 'Battle of Existence' for Christians

The Vatican considers the presidential elections in Lebanon as a battle of existence that surpasses the Maronites and focuses on the active Christians role in state posts in the country and the Middle East.

Sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper published on Friday that the Vatican is persuading the United States Administration and world powers to safeguard the presidential polls and avert any vacuum at the helm of Lebanon's most important Christian post.

“The Vatican's endeavors reached advanced levels,” sources told the daily.

The report said that the Vatican's Foreign Minister Archbishop Dominique Mamberti and Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin are personally supervising the endeavors.

The sources revealed that the Vatican obtained pledges by the U.S. and other countries that a “settlement would be reached ahead of the constitutional deadline.”

“The presidency post would be vacant for a period of a month,” the sources added.

President Michel Suleiman's term ends on May 25 amid fears that the rival political parties' disputes will thwart holding the elections for his successor, which will force the extension of his term or plunge the country in presidential vacuum.

On Thursday, Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned a session set to elect a new president until May 22 due to lack of quorum.

Two other sessions were supposed to be held, but they failed over lack of quorum after a March 8 camp boycott on the ongoing disagreement over a candidate.



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