Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The delay in the election of a new Lebanese president is "an unacceptable violation of the Constitution and of the national covenant". With these words, the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Rai, has launched a new alarm on the stalemate which for weeks has hindered the election of Michel Sleiman’s successor as president of the Lebanese republic, having de facto blocked the institutional life of the Country of the cedars in a particularly critical passage of the situation in the Middle East. On Wednesday afternoon, June 11, on opening the annual Synod of the Maronite Church in the patriarchal seat of Bkerké, the Patriarch invited to pray so that the parliamentarians "elect a new President", reiterating that no one has the right to paralyze institutions, the protection of which must prevail "on all individual and sectarian considerations".
The Maronite Synod, after several days of prayer and retreat, will implement its operational phase from 16 to 19 June and will express strong and authoritative considerations on the impasse that continues to deteriorate the Lebanese political framework. The two political blocks of 8 March and 14 March cannot find a unitary consensus on who to elect in place of Suleiman, whose presidential term ended on May 25. The complex institutional Lebanese balance provides that the office of President of the Republic is occupied by a Christian Maronite. In recent days, the leader of the Lebanese Forces, Shamir Geagea (Coalition 14 March), attributed to the Maronite Patriarchate the support to a shortlist of three potential candidates - former ministers Damien Kattar, Ziyad Baroud and Roger Dib - declaring his readiness to support one of them. But Bkerké officially denied the existence of candidates "supported" by the Patriarchate. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 12/06/2014)