Al-Rahi slams those blocking president election pending 'foreign' instructions
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has called on those casting blank votes in the presidential election sessions to declare the name of their candidate.
“Who is your candidate? Why don’t you declare his name and vote for him? If there are names you can negotiate on you would call for negotiations,” al-Rahi said in an interview from Rome with Radio Free Lebanon.
“Why are you doing this only to the Maronite Christian president, whereas the parliament speaker gets elected in one session and the premier gets designated immediately after the parliamentary consultations, as if you are saying that you can without a president,” the patriarch added.
“If you are keen on the (National) Pact, where is the Christian element while you are blocking the president’s election and where is the separation of powers? This is all against the constitution and tyranny and oppression against Lebanon,” al-Rahi decried.
Responding to a question, the patriarch said: “If they were able to resolve the presidential issue domestically, they would have elected a president, and this indicates, week after week, that they are awaiting the keyword from abroad, unfortunately.”
“The Christian majority has proposed a candidate for the presidency, so let others propose a name instead of saying that Christians have not agreed yet. Until now, it seems that there is no consensus over a candidate pending foreign instructions… but the Lebanese officials must hold consultations and vote, seeing as this is how the pope and the patriarch get elected,” al-Rahi said.
“Should we seek an agreement prior to election, we will have neither a pope nor a patriarch,” the patriarch added.
“I say that Lebanon has the right to have a president and no one has the right to block this election, because the absence of a president means that there is a body without a head and also stands for the disintegration of the state,” al-Rahi went on to say.