ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite Patriarch Rai again meets political leaders to discuss the institutional crisis

Saturday, 7 May 2016 politics  


Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - Almost two years after the end of the mandate of Michel Sleiman, the office of President of the Lebanese Republic remains vacant due to the vetoes among different political blocs. In the face of the now ingrained institutional paralysis, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai continues to have high-level meetings with national political leaders to urge them to find a solution as soon as possible because this is contributing to making the country of the Cedars weaker and exposes it to the contagion of the conflicts that disrupt the Middle-Eastern area. On Friday morning, May 6, the head of the "Future" Sunni Party, Saad Hariri, was received by the Primate of the Maronite Church in the patriarchal see of Bkerke. After the meeting, Hariri reiterated in some statements released to the Lebanese media the firm intention to "respect the equality between Muslims and Christians", also referring to the upcoming municipal elections. In addition, regarding the non-election of the President, former Prime Minister Hariri urged all the political forces not to boycott the upcoming meetings of the Parliament and to choose between the two candidates already outlined, that of the leader of the Marada Party Suleiman Franjieh (supported by the "Future" Party), and that of Michel Aoun, founder of the patriotic free Movement, supported by the leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea and the Hezbollah Shiite Party. "There are two candidates, we have to go to Parliament to elect one of them, and congratulate the winner, whoever he is", said Hariri.
Two weeks ago - report Lebanese sources - the election of the President and the end of the institutional paralysis had been at the center of a meeting between Patriarch Rai and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Hezbollah Shiite Party. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 07/05/2016)