File - Patriarch Beshara Rai speaks during a mass held in Roumieh, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai warned Sunday a presidential vacuum would run contrary to the 1943 National Pact and eliminate the role of Christians in the country's power-sharing system.Rai's stern warning comes as Parliament is scheduled to meet again in a fourth attempt in less than a month to elect a president amid growing signs that Thursday's session is also destined to fail in the absence of a local and regional accord on a candidate acceptable to the March 8 and March 14 parties. Rai renewed his call on Parliament to elect a president on time in order to avert a vacuum in the country's top Christian post.Geagea, who had earlier accused the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition of obstructing the presidential polls with its lawmakers' repeated boycott of election sessions, said a presidential vacuum would be better than placing the country under Hezbollah's control.Geagea, the March 14-backed presidential candidate, reiterated that he was ready to withdraw from the race for another March 14 candidate who shares his platform and ideas and is accepted by the March 8 camp.
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