BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Rai: No justification for presidential void

Rai accused legislators of evading their constitutional duties, “the most important and honorable of which is electing a president of the republic.” (REUTERS/Saad Shalash)

BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai has blasted the country’s rival politicians Sunday for failing to elect a new president over a month after the post became vacant, brushing aside all excuses as unconvincing.

“We do not accept, at all, the dramatic situation that reached its peak by depriving the Lebanese state of a president,” Rai told the Sunday mass.

“No justification can convince us of the [rightful] violation of the constitution and the national pact or its impact on the stumbling Parliament and government,” he said.

The presidential vacuum, now in its second month, has crippled Parliament, which failed to elect a new head of state despite several attempts before and after the mandate of president Michel Sleiman expired on May 25.

March 14 MPs have attended Parliament sessions to elect a president, but boycotted other sessions on the grounds that Parliament should not legislate while there is no president.

On the opposite pole, March 8 lawmakers, despite supporting legislative sessions even amid a presidential void, have boycotted sessions to elect a president on the grounds that an agreement must be reached prior with their March 14 rivals on a consensus candidate.

Rai accused legislators of evading their constitutional duties, “the most important and honorable of which is electing a president of the republic.”

 

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