BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Monday criticized the Lebanese political class for failing to elect a new president, saying it would be a mark of shame in the country’s history.
“We are disappointed that those responsible for the political work here are destroying the country’s pillars every day,” said Rai, at the annual meeting held by the Qannoubine Mission and Heritage League at his Diman summer residence.
“Five months have passed while Lebanon is without a president and the presidential palace is closed,” he added. “This is shameful for our Lebanese dignity, because the lawmakers haven’t conducted any session with quorum.”
Rai said that the lack of president is a “stain on Lebanon’s history,” stressing that the country cannot function without its head of state.
“The head is the motor, and when it is not there everything else will fail,” he said.
Rai criticized the calls for legislation in the Parliament, saying the latter’s role is restricted to electing president as long as the void remains.
“During presidential vacuum, the Parliament becomes an electoral committee,” he said. “If it attempts to legislate, that would be against the constitution.”