Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, left, meets with former President Amin Gemayel in Beirut, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai called Thursday for a constitutional amendment to keep the outgoing president in power in a caretaker status until a successor is elected, a move apparently aimed at avoiding a vacuum in the country's top Christian post.Speaker Nabih Berri, meanwhile, called for a new Parliament session Tuesday, Sept. 2, to elect a president amid signs that the session is doomed to fail like previous ones in the absence of an agreement among the rival political parties on a consensus candidate to succeed former President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year tenure ended on May 25 . As the three-month-old presidential election impasse dragged on with no solution in sight, Rai renewed his call on Parliament to convene and elect a president, saying that lawmakers should also work amend the Constitution to allow the outgoing president to stay in power until a successor is elected. Similarly, Rai said, lawmakers should seek to avoid vacancy in the presidential post at the end of the president's six-year term by amending the Constitution to allow the outgoing president to remain in his post until a successor is elected.Under the Lebanese Constitution, the Cabinet is vested with the president's prerogatives when the presidency is vacant.
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