Lebanon News

Maronites warn MPs over failure to elect president

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai arrives to attend a ceremony in the Chouf village of Brih, Saturday, May 17, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: A gathering of Maronite organizations Wednesday warned lawmakers against disrupting the vote and failing to elect a new president on time, saying such moves only jeopardized the top Christian seat.

The remarks came after a number of Maronite organizations held a meeting in Bkirki chaired by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, who briefed the attendees on developments and his discussions with political leaders about the coming presidential election.

“The attendees warn parliamentarians, regardless of their sect, against disrupting the presidential election from being held on time, which in turn violates the Constitution, the National Covenant and risks the survival of the entity,” the gathering said in a statement.

“They also warn parliamentarians against failing to elect a president within the Constitutional deadline, which serves a blow to head of the authorities pyramid and would lead to a paralysis of constitutional institutions,” it added.

The attendees said they backed Rai’s position which emphasized the “inevitability” of holding the presidential election on time “in order to preserve the National Covenant, avoid a vacuum in the presidential seat and preserve the essential Christian component.”

They also said they would keep their meetings open to determine future steps to help secure the presidential election.

Lawmakers have been unable to elect a new head of state with none of the possible candidates capable of securing the needed majority to win.

The gathering also took a swipe at Christian lawmakers within the Change and Reform bloc, headed by MP Michel Aoun, who have boycotted three Parliamentary rounds of voting.





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