BEIRUT: Departing President Michel Sleiman Sunday warned Lebanese leaders and lawmakers against linking the presidential election to external accord.
“I appeal to Lebanese lawmakers and leaders not to tie the presidential election to external accord which is [currently] non-existent,” he said during the opening of a new sports stadium in Jbeil, north of Beirut.
Sleiman slammed attempts to derail the election process and hoped that the election session scheduled for May 7 will be a chance for the Lebanese “to come together and engage in dialogue.”
“Sabotaging election sessions is contrary to democratic principles,” he said.
Sleiman, whose term ends in 20 days, urged politicians not to drive the country to the point of no return, which will require them to resort to yet another agreement that might deal a blow to established norms and parity between Christians and Muslims.
“Let us continue implementing the Taif agreement,” he said in reference to the 1989 accord that put an end to Lebanon’s Civil War.
Sleiman said the Lebanese were looking for a statesman that would preserve the Constitution and who will be unshackled by foreign ties but who has full control over foreign policy.
“The Lebanese aspire for a patriotic president who will safeguard their dreams and aspirations,” he continued.