BEIRUT: Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani rejected accusations that he will seek re-election after his term ends, a statement by Dar al-Fatwa said.
“We get some media analysis every now and then saying that the mufti’s call for the election of a new [Higher Islamic] council aims at extending his terms forever ... but these are fabrications,” said the statement.
The statement also denied rumors that the mufti told the head of the Future Movement, Saad Hariri, that he would like to extend terms.
“Such statements are all lies to the Muslim public and they expose the political parties behind the spreading of such words,” said the statement.
“The mufti’s terms end in Sep. 15, 2014 and he will leave Dar al-Fatwa and go back home then,” said the statement. “Any other talk is just rumors and fabrications.”
Qabbani was elected in 1996 and his term ends when he turns 72 in 2014.
The mufti called Sunday for the election of new members of the Higher Islamic Council within the next three months, declaring that the terms of the current members have ended.
However, the mufti’s comments contradicts with Hariri’s Future Movement, whose members in the council have already decided to extend the council’s term for one year in defiance of Qabbani’s wish.