BEIRUT: Omar Miskawi, the deputy head of the Higher Islamic Council, urged caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and former prime ministers Tuesday to prevent divisions within the Sunni sect after Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani held controversial elections.
Miskawi telephoned Mikati, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, and former prime ministers Saad Hariri, Fouad Siniora and Omar Karami. Defying a Shura Council decision to suspend the polls, Qabbani held council elections Sunday.
The grand mufti announced that candidates for council membership won unopposed in Beirut, Sidon, Hasbaya, Akkar and Mount Lebanon.
The elections for the remaining nine seats could not be held in Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley region due to a lack of eligible voters.
Miskawi told the officials that the “illegal elections” required their immediate intervention, to avoid divisions within the sect and to allow the council to proceed with its road map for reform.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 17, 2013, on page 4.