Lebanon News

Rai: Legislation must be set aside for election

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai heads a Muslim-Christian summit in Bkirki, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai said Thursday that making laws in the absence of a president was unconstitutional and urged lawmakers to stop legislation.

“We pray for lawmakers to elect a president immediately and to stop any legislative work pursuant to Article 75,” Rai said in his opening speech at the Synod of Bishops in Bkikri, the seat of the Maronite Church.

“The current practice of not electing a head of state is a breach of the Constitution and the National pact,” Rai said before the conclave began. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”

He urged both the March 8 and March 14 coalitions to avoid plunging state institutions into “total paralysis.”

Rai’s remarks were in stark contrast with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s guidelines he set out Tuesday, which were favorable to legislation.





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