Al-Rahi Meets March 14 Delegation, Calls for Respecting Coexistence, National Pact to End Vacuumإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi highlighted on Tuesday the importance of Lebanon's diversity and coexistence among its people as factors that may help end the country's ongoing vacuum in the presidency.
He said: “Resolving the vacuum lies in adhering to coexistence, the National Pact, and Lebanon's system that implements this pact.”
He made his remarks after holding talks in Bkirki with a delegation of lawmakers from the March 14 alliance.
Officials must agree on a democratic solution that respects the constitution and elect a president, he declared.
Al-Rahi added: “We must remain faithful to Lebanon and set it as a priority above all sectarian and political interests.”
Furthermore, the patriarch stressed that all sides must acknowledge the errors they have committed against the constitution.
“There can be no legitimacy to any authority that contradicts the National Pact,” he added.
MP Butros Harb later stated after the talks: “We agreed with al-Rahi to call all MPs to meet under his sponsorship in order to agree on steps that will facilitate the election of a president.”
“We will consider parliament in a constant state of session as stipulated in the constitution and we will exert efforts to ensure that MPs are present at the parliament on a daily basis to elect a president,” he added.
“We will consider the needed quorum after the first round of the polls as a simple majority,” he continued.
He also revealed that a committee has been formed to communicate with Speaker Nabih Berri to inform him of the details of the meeting with al-Rahi.
The patriarch's media office later explained that he did not give his opinion on the proposal on quorum, but agreed to discuss it with Berri.
Established in 1943, the National Pact demands that the president be a Maronite, the speaker a Shiite and the prime minister a Sunni.
Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.
Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the polls.