BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said Tuesday that he was happily waiting for his term to end, adding that he was not actively looking to extend his mandate.
“For me, May 25 is a different day, one I haven’t seen for 47 years. I am waiting for this day to come with joy and I have nothing to do with plans to extend [my] term,” Sleiman posted on his Twitter account.
Earlier Sleiman ordered staff at security and inspection agencies to ensure optimal performance particularly toward the end of his term of office.
Sleiman’s instructions came during a meeting with senior officers, including General Security Director General Brig. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, the head of the Central Inspection Bureau judge George Awwad and Supreme Disciplinary Commission judge Marwan Abboud.
The president urged the officials to “ensure optimal performance in the next phase, particularly as of May 25,” a statement from his office said.
Sleiman also stressed the need to fight corruption and bring corrupt workers at ministries and public offices to justice.
While the president’s term expires on May 25, there are mounting fears that the country will plunge into a presidential vacuum after the deadline passes, as Parliament has failed to elect a president during three sessions held so far.
Worried about the looming vacuum, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai is seeking a constitutional amendment to keep Sleiman in office until a successor is elected.
But the proposal, which requires a constitutional amendment approved by two-thirds of MPs, is opposed by Hezbollah.