The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir
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The influential Maronite Church strongly opposes any political reforms mentioned in the Taif Accord before the election of a president, sources in Bkirki said Sunday, in the latest snub to rival leaders who failed to make any breakthroughs in the presidential stalemate or a new voting system during their talks last week. Meanwhile, Speaker Nabih Berri has called on Parliament to meet Monday to choose a successor to former President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year term ended in May 2014 . In a weekend speech, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai implicitly warned feuding parties against delving into topics stipulated in the Taif Accord before acting to end the presidential vacuum.Recalling that the Christian-Druze reconciliation has restored normal life in the Chouf mountain, Rai called for "a political reconciliation" between the March 8 and March 14 parties and centrists aimed at facilitating the election of a president.The ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the Christian-Druze reconciliation was attended by prominent Christian and Muslim political and religious figures, including Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi; representatives of Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Aoun and Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah; former presidents Michel Sleiman and Amine Gemayel; and a number of lawmakers – in addition to Jumblatt, his wife and his two sons.
Hariri to stress need for govt unity in face of challenges
Cabinet shifts into gear, picks for public posts not on agenda
De-escalation set to help Cabinet pass key appointments
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