Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi described on Sunday the parliamentary sessions to elect a new president as a “play.”
In his Sunday sermon, the Patriarch warned Lebanon’s MPs that a presidential vacuum is happening while some nations are seeking to change Lebanon’s identity without resorting to the will of the people or their authorities’.
Rahi then described the election session as a “bargaining market for settlements among deputies” and stressed that the Parliament is tasked with electing a president.
“If we examine the behavior of a number of deputies during the last parliamentary sessions, we immediately discover that they are in a play instead of presenting to Lebanon a president who would be accepted by the Lebanese people following long dire moments and crises,” the Patriarch stressed.
His comments came amid fears in crisis-hit Lebanon from a prolonged presidential vacuum given the sharp differences over a presidential candidate. President Michel Aoun’s term ends on October 31.
“I am talking about a president who would be accepted by the Lebanese people and act as a true statesman, instead of a politician who is concerned with his own interests at the expense of the public good,” the Patriarch stressed.
“We reached the peak of political corruption and national treason,” the Patriarch cautioned.
He then said that political forces who are seeking a vacuum at the top state post are committing “national treason.”
“Is there bigger treason toward the country than blocking the election of a president? And can a path lead to the country’s division more than a presidential void?” the Patriarch asked.
“Do you realize that heading toward a presidential vacuum is happening while some nations are seeking to change Lebanon’s face, role, and identity without resorting to the people or their authorities?” Rahi told MPs.
Talking about the recently-postponed international dialogue conference in Geneva on Lebanon, he said: “We called for this conference to fully implement the Taif Accord and to fill the gaps in the Constitution, correct the imbalance of the democratic system in the exercise of governance, declare Lebanon’s neutrality, in addition to the return of the displaced Syrians to their country, and solve the Palestinian refugee issue,” he said.