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.
Leaders stress need for prompt reforms as pressure mounts
Aoun: Implementation of reforms to begin in October
Hariri vows to shield Lebanon from impact of sanctions
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