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

Lebanon's Rai Refuses to Tie Election of President to ‘Consensus’

Rai delivers his sermon on Sunday. (NNA)

Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai slammed on Sunday the parliament, rejecting the call to elect a new president of the republic through “consensus”.

Parliament had convened on Thursday for the election, but failed in naming a head of state.

Speaker Nabih Berri said he would call parliament to session again once the lawmakers have reached consensus over a candidate.

During Sunday mass, Rai expressed his concern that consensus would not be reached within the constitutional deadline to elect a president.

President Michel Aoun’s term ends on October 31.

“How can parliament even contemplate vacuum in the presidency?” wondered Rai.

“Where are the serious candidates who can inspire trust, regardless if they are consensual or divisive nominees?” he asked.

“The Lebanese powers that believe in Lebanon’s message must prevent vacuum from happening,” he urged.

Moreover, he warned that if lawmakers don’t make the bold move to elect a “national, sovereign and qualified leader, they shouldn’t blame the people for revolting against them.”

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