11/08/2007, 00.00
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Bishops invite Parliament to save Lebanon, by electing a President

In a document issued at the end of their monthly meeting; the Maronite Bishops accuse both the ruling majority and the op position. The former because the “are monopolising” the vote for the next Head of State, the latter because they are threatening a boycott.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The ruling majority and the opposition are co-responsible for the current political crises which “would block not just the democratic system that characterizes Lebanon, but it could lead to previously non-encountered disintegration”. This is the harsh accusation launched by the Maronite bishops towards the country’s political leaders in a statement issued yesterday at the end of their monthly meeting, which took place on the eve of the scheduled parliamentary meeting to elect the President of the Republic, due on November 12th.

 “The statement reflects the worries and concerns of the nation’s people”: the strong and significant words of the Maronite Archbisop of Jbail, Msgr. Bechara Rahi, explain the most recent and heartfelt appeal by the bishops, which call on the entire Parliament to take on its responsibility “before God, their conscience and the entire nation”.

As was forecast the statement made no indication of a possible candidate for the post of president, but reiterated the need to facilitate the successful completion of the electoral process according to the Constitution, accusing both sides of the political divide of “sticking to their positions” and affirming that responsibility lies “both with those who are monopolising (the ruling majority) and those who are boycotting the elections (the opposition)”.

The bishops have also expressed solidarity with those deputies from the ruling majority who re virtually ‘imprisoned’ in a hotel near Parliament for fear of assassination attempts and those who for the same concerns have been forced to leave the country.

The exodus abroad they note is involving the entire population, above all the young who faced with the dramatic situation in their home seek refuge in neighbouring Arab nations.  “But this emigration is also pushing some further afield to the United Sates, Canada Australia, and risks emptying the nation of its people”. (YH)


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