Al-Rahi: President Draws Strength from His People, Our Support

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi announced Thursday that a strong president is a president who draws strength from “his people and our support for him.”

“We congratulate the Lebanese that we will have a president on Monday, after two and a half years” of presidential vacuum, al-Rahi said during a dinner banquet for Lebanon's Catholic Media Center.

Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun was tipped to become president after al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri formally endorsed him last Thursday.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Hariri had launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Hizbullah ally and Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.

The supporters of Aoun's nomination have argued that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.

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