Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday urged Lebanon's political leaders to end the protracting presidential vacuum, stressing that no one has the right to “destroy the State.”
“We call on the political community and its parliamentary blocs to listen to their national conscience and perform their constitutional duty that obliges them to elect a new president,” said al-Rahi during a Sunday mass.
“Only the president can preserve the Constitution and safeguard the Lebanese society and its unity, growth and prosperity, and only the president can revive the parliament and the government,” the patriarch added.
“No matter what the reasons might be, the political community does not have the right to destroy the State, aggrieve citizens or obstruct the public welfare,” al-Rahi went on to say.
Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, the Free Patriotic Movement and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, demanding a prior agreement on the new president's identity.
Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.