Geagea defends Patriarch Rai’s stance over presidential vacuum


Geagea raiLebanese Forces leader MP Samir Geagea  defended Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai’s stance  over  the presidential vacuum   , describing the vacuum  as a “crime” against the Lebanese and stressing  that it is hindering the   work of the cabinet and the parliament.

“Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai’s stance is right in   pressing  for a solution but things should be called as they are,” Geagea said, stressing  that politicians  should be held accountable for the delay in electing a new president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended last May 25.

Geagea  said in remarks published on  Monday’s al-Mustaqbal newspaper  that all parliamentary blocs are attending sessions set to elect a new president except for the Change and Reform and Hezbollah blocs.

“Both blocs are impeding the polls for various reasons,” Geagea pointed out.

Rai sounded outraged  on Sunday over the ongoing delay in electing a new  president to replace   Suleiman

“The Patriarch’s outrage  is increasing over the ongoing presidential vacuum,” Rai’s visitors quoted him as saying in comments published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper on Sunday .

“He is tired of waiting while the rival parties agree on the name of a nominee… He has waited for a long time but they failed to reach common ground,” sources were  quoted as saying.

The next elections session is set for July 23.

Background information

The Lebanese lawmakers failed again July 2 to elect a president  for the eighth time, prolonging a political vacuum as the country struggles with violence, economic decline and an influx of Syrian refugees.

After   Geagea secured 48 votes last April 23, the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance including FPM leader Michel Aoun and Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh walked out from the parliament to make sure there was no quorum to elect a president. They continued their boycott of the parliament during the 7 other sessions that followed .

Both Aoun and Franjieh boycotted also the July 2 session.

Aoun has not announced his candidacy but he aspires to become a consensual nominee
“I will announce my nomination when the political situation in parliament becomes clear and when (the current candidates) are dismissed,” Aoun said last month.

The civil war in neighbouring Syria has aggravated long-standing rivalries in Lebanon, where political power is divided among religious communities – the presidency goes to a Maronite Christian, the parliament speaker is a Shi’ite Muslim and the prime minister a Sunni.

Some of Lebanon’s deepest political divisions come over the handling of the Syrian crisis, which has driven over 1 million refugees into Lebanon.

Politicians from the March 8 coalition, which includes Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rival March 14 coalition backs Assad’s opponents.

The deadlock comes at a time of worsening security. Three suicide bomb attacks late last month targeted Beirut and a checkpoint on the road to Syria. The Syrian crisis and the political stalemate have also hit the Lebanese economy, prompting the central bank to introduce stimulus packages.




2 responses to “Geagea defends Patriarch Rai’s stance over presidential vacuum”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Not that it will change anything ….

  2. The real lebanese Avatar
    The real lebanese

    Whats new? Hezbollah is undermining Lebanon once again and Aoun is frantically trying to buy people into his presidency. We wont see an elected president on July 23.

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