Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks to journalists in the Hague, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned Saturday that a void risked turning the presidency into a target for political blackmail as he bid farewell to outgoing President Michel Sleiman.
“The last day of President Michel Sleiman’s term is an occasion to declare two realities; the first is that the majority of the Lebanese recognize Sleiman’s wise wisdom in managing the country’s affairs and insistence on National Dialogue as an irreplaceable means to confront political and sectarian tension,” Hariri said in a statement on the day when President Michel Sleiman bids farewell to the Lebanese from Baabda Palace.
“The second reality is an honest call to deal with the presidential void ... as a serious risk that threatens the safety of the democratic system and turns the presidency into a target for permanent [political] blackmail,” the statement said.
“There is no flaw in our Constitution preventing the rotation of power or causing such vacuum, the flaw is in not implementing the Constitution, but the inability to reach the required political courage to make mutual concessions and place the national interest before personal whims and interests,” Hariri said.
“There are only a few hours separating us from the constitutional deadline to elect a new president, and it would take a political miracle to secure the birth of a new president,” he said.
“However, we must be deeply aware of the dangers of keeping the top Christian post in our political system in void and the dangers of not having anyone among the Lebanese, particularly Christians, to declare the triumph of Lebanon’s right to have a president for the country.”
Hariri also said that the next president should commit to the Baabda Declaration issued by Sleiman, which is essential "to protect the nation against interference in foreign and random wars."
Lebanon is set to face a period of presidential void in the absence of a consensus among political rivals on who should be the next head of the state.
Hariri meets Putin in Sochi
Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
Hariri meets Putin in Sochi
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has blamed all political parties for the failure to elect a head of state and warned...
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah vowed Sunday to oust Islamist militants from the outskirts of the northeastern...
It all started with a bag. What if every woman in prison could stitch, bead or sequin her way to a more empowered life...
Lebanon Monday reiterated its right to liberate the remaining villages still occupied by Israel since the 1967...
Geneva is undoubtedly a lovely city to visit, but the United Nations appears to be obsessed with hosting “peace talks”...
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE