BEIRUT: Dar al-Fatwa Thursday set Aug. 31 the date to elect a new mufti for Lebanon.
In a statement, Director-General of Islamic Endowments Sheikh Hisham Khalifa said the election would take place at Dar al-Fatwa headquarters in Beirut.
He said if a two-thirds quorum of the Muslim electoral council were not secured in the first round, the session would be adjourned till 11 a.m. the same day and the sheikh who gets an absolute majority would win.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani issued a decision Saturday to expand the electoral body that picks his successor from more than 100 members to around 2,800. He justified the move by pointing out that this was the size of the electoral body from 1955 until he was elected mufti.
The Higher Islamic Council will convene Thursday under former Minister Omar Miskawi to consider calling on Qabbani to leave his post early in response to the controversial expansion.
Since the end of 2012, disputes between Qabbani and Saad Hariri’s Future Movement have split the council into two. One part is chaired by Miskawi and is considered to be close to the Future Movement, while the other is headed by Qabbani. Each of the councils considers the other illegitimate.