01/10/2019, 17.32
LEBANON
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Maronite bishops again call for a government of technocrats

Prelates call for action to overcome obstacles, political or otherwise, and find a way to form a new government that can come up with structural reforms and investments. They slammed the speaker of parliament for trying to force through a budget bill and expressed solidarity with a Muslim lawmaker who was criticised for taking part in a Mass.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Maronite Bishops' Conference, which held its monthly meeting yesterday in the patriarchal headquarters of Bkerké led by Card Beshara Al-Rahi, renewed its appeal to the country’s political leaders to form a government of technocrats.

“We call on leaders to overcome political and other obstacles to the formation of a government, and to quickly agree on a cabinet that can” put in place “structural reforms and investments,” the prelates said in a statement.

For the leader of the Maronite Church, the best solution would be a government of technocrats, experts and specialists in specific domain, so as to overcome the political, economic and institutional stalemate in which the country finds itself.

For Card al-Rahi, the nation is a "hostage to political militias" who have made the crisis worse, pushing people into the streets to protest.

The bishops, who renewed Patriarch Al-Rahi’s appeal for a smaller cabinet of “independent experts", also criticised, without explicitly naming him, Speaker Nabih Berry who wants parliament to adopt the 2019 budget despite the absence of a government with full powers. For them, this is a "disturbing" and "anti-constitutional" prospect.

The prelates also discussed the case of Roula Tabch Jaroudi, a Muslim lawmaker from Hariri’s block who is at the centre of a controversy after a priest blessed during Mass a few days ago. The bishops slammed those who attack Lebanon’s pluralistic and multicultural character and undermine "mutual respect, the protection of personal liberties and freedom of worship".

Since last May Lebanon has been waiting for a strong and unified government, able to overcome the many threats and challenges that await the country: from economic difficulties to the immigration crisis; from growing poverty to youth unemployment.

The Lebanese Church is well aware of the serious situation, exacerbated by the war in neighbouring Syria and its unprecedented humanitarian crisis, which has been compounded by a recent cold snap with snow that has caused serious hardships for ordinary people.

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