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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

Lebanon: Rai Accuses Officials of Creating Post-Aoun Political 'Vacuum'

Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai meets with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon July 15, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

Maronite Patriach Beshara al-Rai accused the Lebanese authorities of creating a political vacuum by leaving the presidency unfilled with outgoing president Michel Aoun's term ending on Monday.

Al-Rai said in his Sunday sermon that officials had "left this supreme and essential presidency in a vacuum, either deliberately, or out of stupidity or selfishness."

He described the presidency as a “cornerstone” for the unity of the state.

The “presidential vacuum in Lebanon is not a fate but rather a conspiracy,” al-Rai cautioned.

Aoun left the presidential palace in Baabda on Sunday, a day ahead of the official end of his six-year term but without a successor.

Aoun leaves the fragile country in an unprecedented situation where the presidency is vacant at the same time as the cabinet operates in a caretaker capacity.

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