File - Patriarch Beshara Rai attends a ceremony in Jounieh, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Thursday pleaded with rival parties to seriously consider an internationally backed initiative proposing MP Sleiman Frangieh as Lebanon's next president, in the latest attempt by the influential Maronite Church to help put an end to the monthslong presidential vacuum.However, Frangieh's proposed nomination is facing opposition from the three main Christian parties: the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb Party.Rai described Hariri's initiative on Frangieh's nomination as "serious" and called on rival politicians to benefit from it to end the presidential void.Due to opposition from the three Christian parties, efforts to advance Frangieh's presidential bid have been stalled for now.He spoke after meeting separately with two Christian leaders who oppose Frangieh's nomination. He met separately with Geagea and Gemayel to discuss the presidential election crisis.
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