Patriarch Beshara Rai, right, receives Nader Hariri, the head of former Prime Minster Saad Hariri's office in Bkirki, Monday, May 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Maronite Patriarchate Bkirki, HO)
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Increasingly worried about a presidential vacuum, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai is seeking a constitutional amendment that would keep President Michel Sleiman at Baabda Palace until a successor is elected, sources in Bkirki said Monday.The Bkirki source said Rai will not accept the country's top Christian post to become vacant after Sleiman's six-year term expires on May 25 .Rai sees that a constitutional amendment can prevent a vacuum in the presidency if Parliament fails to elect a president before May 25, the source added.In a bid to prevent a presidential vacuum, Sports and Youth Minister Abdul Mutaleb Hinawi also proposed that Sleiman stay in office until a new president is elected.Rai warned Sunday a vacuum would run contrary to the 1943 National Pact and eliminate Christians' role in the country's power-sharing system.
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