Qahwaji Says 'Delicate' Stage Compels Electing New President

Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji described on Friday the stage that the country is passing through as “delicate,” expressing hope that the political arch-foes would reach consensus over the presidential deadlock ahead of the May 25 constitutional deadline.

“The dangerous situation in the country raises fears on vacuum in the presidency,” Qahwaji said in Order of the Day.

He called on soldiers in a statement to mark the occasion of the Resistance and Liberation day, which commemorates the Israeli army’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000, to “safeguard the country's unity and stability.”

The parliament failed anew on Thursday to elect a president in a fifth session of its kind, raising fears that the vacuum in the country's top Christian post would affect Lebanon's power-sharing agreement under which the president should be a Maronite, the premier a Sunni and the speaker a Shiite.

“The upcoming stage is delicate and critical and you will have to be keen to keep your oath and promise,” Qahwaji added.

The army chief called on soldiers to be “attentive and disciplined to safeguard Lebanon despite all the unfortunate developments.”

He considered that the “army and resistance martyrs made Lebanon a model in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”



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