Lebanon’s parliament Speaker Nabih Berri stressed the need to elect a new president to succeed Michel Aoun, whose term ends on October 31.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said: “The election of a president is more than necessary.”
He also underscored the need to form a new government to avoid “constitutional chaos.”
Moreover, Berri praised the speech delivered by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Derian before Sunni MPs on Saturday.
“His speech was more than good. It was binding. We are concerned with holding the presidential elections within the constitutional deadline,” added the speaker.
The elections are a priority at the moment to counter the aims of parties seeking vacuum, he went on to say.
On efforts to form a new government, he said he is awaiting the outcome of the upcoming meeting between Aoun and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati upon his return from New York where he took part in the United Nations General Assembly.
The formation of a cabinet will dash the goals of some sides that were hoping for “constitutional chaos.”
“I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest, given the difficult situation in the country, for us to be led towards directions everyone wants to avoid,” Berri said.
Derian had on Saturday called for the election of a president who is “ethical and responsible.”
The president must be “wise, have a sense of national responsibility, integrity and ability to bring together all Lebanese,” he told a delegation of Sunnis MPs.
Derian warned that Lebanon was moving rapidly towards becoming a “non-state” and Arabs and world are “ignoring it because of its poor political management on all levels.”
He called on the MPs to help in ushering in change by “reclaiming the presidency of the republic and restoring respect to it and its role on the internal and external scenes.”
Furthermore, he highlighted the “extreme” importance of the position of president in Lebanon in specific because the “Christian president is a symbol of coexistence on which the system is founded.”
In a statement after closed-door talks with Derian meeting, the lawmakers pledged to preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty, unity and freedoms.
They pledged to elect a president within the constitutional deadline and reiterated their commitment to the Taif Accord that outlines Lebanon’s Arab identity and on which its national unity and harmony between religions is based.