Lebanon News

Tripoli Mufti says presidential election could be postponed to summer

Mufti Sheikh Malek Shaar speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Mufti of Tripoli and the North Sheikh Malek Shaar said Tuesday that the presidential election could be postponed until the end of the summer as Parliament scrambles to secure quorum before the end of the May 25 deadline set by the Constitution.

“The outcome of contacts at this level points out that the matter could be postponed to the end of August or to the beginning of the coming September for a number of reasons,” Shaar said.

The Mufti added that his assessment was based on meetings with officials.

Parliament is scheduled to meet again Thursday in a fourth attempt in less than a month to elect a president.

Shaar said he hoped the new president would be able to continue in President Michel Sleiman’s footsteps.

Additionally, the mufti said that rumors of the northern city of Tripoli harboring terrorists from Al-Qaeda, the Nusra Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) were all false.

“But there is an evil will to target Tripoli and put it in an awkward position thereby making it a city of extremism and fanaticism and terrorism and the like,” he added.

He also said that there was an aim to target the Sunni sect, making it appear as an extremist sect that did not accept the other.

The mufti has spent prolonged periods abroad because of death threats against him by Islamist groups.





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