Prime Minister Tammam Salam, left, speaks with Minister Michel Pharaon during a Cabinet session. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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There is no solution in sight to the presidential vacuum, which this week marks its one-year anniversary, Prime Minister Tammam Salam said in remarks released Sunday, heralding a prolonged vacancy in the country's top Christian post.Salam blamed the rival political factions' conflicting stances for blocking the election of a successor to former President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year tenure ended on May 25 last year. Salam rejected the argument by some politicians that the presidential crisis stemmed largely from the shortcomings of the 1989 Taif Accord, which ended the 1975-90 Civil War and shifted many of the Maronite president's prerogatives to Cabinet.Former President Amine Gemayel warned that the continued presidential vacuum posed a danger not only the presidency post, but also to the country.Aoun, speaking at a news conference Friday, proposed a three-point solution to the constitutional crisis, including the election of a president directly by the people in two phases, first by the Christians and at a later stage by all the Lebanese, with the winner endorsed as president by Parliament. He also suggested carrying out a national referendum to elect a president and holding parliamentary elections before the presidential vote.
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