Al-Rahi from Sydney: Dialogue is voting in parliament
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has reiterated his call for parliament to “hold successive sessions, according to the constitution and without blocking quorum, in order to elect a president.”
“They are talking behind the scenes about the need to look for a third candidate and we say no. For the sake of the dignity of the candidates (Suleiman) Franjieh and (Jihad) Azour and out of respect for those who nominated them, the elections should be continued in successive rounds and let any of them win,” al-Rahi said during his visit to Australia’s Sydney.
“Should no one win due to the scattering of votes, then go to the dialogue that you are talking about now and hold consultations over a new figure,” the patriarch added.
Al-Rahi also clarified the controversy over his recent remarks on dialogue.
“There is an uproar over what we have said. I have always said, and prior to Speaker (Nabih) Berri’s call, that dialogue is through voting in parliament. Dialogue is election and consensus is election,” al-Rahi said.
“I did not say that I support dialogue. I said ‘should dialogue take place after everyone agrees to it.’ Parliament today is in an electoral state and in elections dialogue takes place,” the patriarch explained.