10/03/2016, 09.23
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Lebanon, Christian and Muslim leaders call for election of the president

The Maronite Patriarch is against the proposal of a "package deal" related to the election of the head of state. The cardinal believes it to be a solution without "dignity." The Sunni Grand Mufti calls for diplomatic support for Saad Hariri. He warns against protests: "they exacerbate the fragmentation." After two and half years of a power vacuum, choosing a name still appears distant.


Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Lebanese Christian and Muslim religious leaders have launched fresh appeals  to the political leaders of the country to step up  efforts for the election of the president, vacant for almost two and a half years.

In his Sunday sermon Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Beshara Rai strongly criticized the proposal of a so-called "package deal" that precedes the election of the head of state. The cardinal said the candidate who accepts this solution has no "dignity."

The reference is to the proposal launched in recent days by President of the Parliament Nabih Berri, which provides a "comprehensive agreement" about the election of the president that includes the electoral law and a government of national unity.

According to the latest rumors, Berri is also available to sign a crippled agreement, which provides for: electoral law, Minister of Finance, the creation of the Oil Ministry and a new portfolio for Energy.

Meanwhile the Grand Mufti Abdul Latif Daryan, the highest Sunni authority in the country, has appealed to politicians to support the efforts put in place in recent weeks by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to unlock the presidential impasse.

For several days rumors have circulated that the leader of the Future Movement is ready to support the founder of the Free Patriotic Movement Michel Aoun for the presidency. A breakthrough emerged during a series of consultations with foreign and Lebanese political leaders recently made by the former Prime Minister, including the same Aoun.

In the sermon on the occasion of the Islamic New Year (Hijri), the Grand Mufti lashed out against the threat of street protests launched by the leaders of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).

The Lebanese Sunni leader has openly sided against this and other initiatives "that could exacerbate the fragmentation of the Lebanese structure" as an obstruction to the work of the government and the "suspension of the national dialogue" [the reference is always to fpm].

Since May 2014, the end of Michel Suleiman’s mandate, the Land of the Cedars has been without a president. In recent months, the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah and its allies have repeatedly boycotted the vote for the renewal of the office, by denying a quorum.

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