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Siniora: No priority above electing president

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, center, receives former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in Bkirki, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. (The Daily Star/HO)

BEIRUT: The head of the Future bloc, Fouad Siniora, said Friday after meeting Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai that the strong president Lebanon needs was one that could find common ground between different groups.

“We want a strong president,” Siniora told reporters after visiting Rai. “One with good leadership competences and who could be a role model for the Lebanese, and represent the coexistence among the Lebanese.”

Siniora said he told Rai that the presidential void Lebanon had been experiencing since the end of Former President Michel Sleiman’s term had “resulted in a deadly vacuum.”

“Nothing could fill the vacuum, and there is no priority above the election of a president,” Siniora stressed, “because no institution is functioning well.”

Siniora called on March 8 parties to decide on one candidate, so that a “democratic” contest could be conducted in Parliament.

“So far there are some who are disrupting the sessions, preventing the quorum from being met to elect a president,” he said. “And today’s meeting was to discuss the matter and look for ways to enhance communications that will lead to electing a president.”

Siniora said the two also discussed the recent events in the region, criticizing the Islamic State’s actions against Christians.

“The [actions] contradict the [principles] of the Islamic Shariah and the Arab brotherhood,” Siniora said. “What is occurring in the region is the product of the tyrannical regimes.”

Siniora said his party would “carry the mission of telling the world about the dangers of these groups that stand against humanity.

“We will not see peace of mind before the return of all the displaced back to their countries in Syria and Iraq.”

The Future official also touched on the ranks and salaries scale, saying that “there are serious risks posed by passing the scale” and that the revenues to cover the hike were still being studied by MPs.

“We are committed to passing the scale, but we should be able to afford its consequences,” he said.

 

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Summary

The head of the Future bloc, Fouad Siniora, said Friday after meeting Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai that the strong president Lebanon needs was one that could find common ground between different groups.

Siniora called on March 8 parties to decide on one candidate, so that a "democratic" contest could be conducted in Parliament.

Siniora said the two also discussed the recent events in the region, criticizing the Islamic State's actions against Christians.

Siniora said his party would "carry the mission of telling the world about the dangers of these groups that stand against humanity.


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