Rai urges lawmakers to end electoral impasse


Patriarch Rai outraged 2Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rai called on Lebanon’s rival political blocs to set aside their personal and factional interests, and take bold moves to ensure the success of parliament’s next scheduled session to elect a president.

“Now, after five months and ten failed electoral sessions…we call on the political and parliamentary blocs to take the brave initiatives before the session [scheduled for] September 2,” Rai said during his Sunday sermon , urging lawmakers to attend the session.

The Lebanese parliament failed for the tenth time in a row to hold a session to elect the country’s new president to replace Suleiman whose terms ended on May 25.

As in the previous sessions , the vote could not be held as lawmakers allied with the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group boycotted the voting for lack of agreement on a consensus president.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned the session to elect a new president to September 2 , 2014

After Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea secured 48 votes last April 23, the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance including FPM leader MP Michel Aoun 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 other sessions that followed .

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 June.