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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 07/17/2007
LEBANON
Presidential election at risk if constitution not respected, says Cardinal Sfeir
Maronite patriarch warns against the danger that ruling majority and opposition choose each their own president. A French envoy is said to be already in Damascus. Lebanese army death toll in clashes in Nahr al-Bared now stands at 100.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Lebanon’s ongoing crisis saw two new elements today. Maronite Patriarch Card Nasrallah Sfeir spoke about the quorum needed to elect a new president, an issue that is still at the centre of discussions and controversy, and the announcement that a French envoy has probably arrived already in the region. Meanwhile the number of Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp now stands at 100 with Fatah al-Islam terrorists now cornered in a 300 m by 600 m redoubt.

Politically, both ruling majority and opposition in their public statements agree that the meeting at La Celle Saint-Cloud Château in France has improved the climate even though there is no agreement as to what steps should be taken next.

The bone of contention remains the government of national unity, which the opposition considers a priority despite the fact that current government’s mandate ends in just two months, and the presidential election, in particular what parliamentary majority should be required to elected the next head of state.

Cardinal Sfeir spoke about this issue in Diman, his summer residence, where he received a delegation from the Lebanese Democratic Party.

“If constitutional articles are violated and the president is not elected according to a two-thirds quorum, this will encourage other groups to elect their own president and then the country will plunge into chaos,” he said.

The Lebanese Constitution states that any president, by convention a Christian, must be elected by a two-thirds parliamentary quorum. If a quorum is not present for voting, a second round of elections is to be held, in which the president is elected by absolute majority.

The March 14 Forces have threatened to elect the next president by absolute majority, if opposition MPs decide to boycott the election session at the Parliament, scheduled for September, which should pick outgoing President Émile Lahoud’s replacement.

“The next president should be non-aligned and able to strengthen and revive the role of the president,” he added.

Cardinal Sfeir added that the La Celle Saint-Cloud meeting showed the need for dialogue among political groups.

The daily As Safir reported that French envoy Jean-Claude Cousseran is already in Damascus to continue the dialogue. His would be the first high-level meeting between the new Sarkozy administration and the Syrian regime. (PD)


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See also
07/23/2007 LEBANON
Obstinacy on both sides can lead to the country’s downfall, says Sfeir
05/14/2007 LEBANON
Sfeir asks Lahoud to guarantee a regular presidential election
by Youssef Hourani
12/19/2006 LEBANON
Maronite bishops urge Christian leaders to reconcile
by Youssef Hourany
05/09/2007 LEBANON
Bishops against constitutional changes to presidential election process
by Youssef Hourani
03/02/2006 LEBANON
National dialogue begins as bishops distance themselves from Lahoud
by Youssef Hourani

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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