Cardinal Rai accuses Lebanon ruling class of murdering its people

patriarch in Riyadh
File photo of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai

Bkirki, Lebanon-

File photo of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai

Cardinal Beshara al-Rai , Lebanon’s top Christian spiritual leader urged the ruling class on Saturday to “step down,” accusing it of murdering its people.”

“The political authority has murdered its people and it must admit its failure to represent citizens and manage the country,” said the Maronite patriarch

His remarks came during a sermon at the conclusion of the Holy Synod of the Bishops of the Maronite Church in Bkirki.

“The authority has killed its people economically, financially, and in terms of living and development. It thrust them into a state of loss, anger, despair, revolution, emigration and survival,” stated the Patriarch.

He urged the “ruling elite” to “admit its failure in gaining the people’s trust and in managing the country.”

He said it should “step down for the sake of Lebanon, even if only temporarily, to pave the way for a unified government team to lead the country towards the path of advancement.”

Rahi said “we want a government formation as per the constitution and National Pact. Any other government format is a waste of time,” he said.

PM Designate Saad Hariri has been trying to form the cabinet , but appears to be falling in the same trap as his predecessor , outgoing PM Hassan Diab .

Hariri, whose government was brought down about a year ago by the October 17 protest movement , initially planned to form a 14 member cabinet of independent technocrats but since president Aoun and Speaker Berri and Hezbollah refused such a government he is trying to appease all the political parties and is now talking about an enlarged cabinet .

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea predicted last Monday that the new government that will be formed by Hariri will be, a waste of time , similar to the failed cabinet of Diab.

During an interview with Radio Free Lebanon, Geagea said the Lebanese Forces will only grant its vote of confidence to “a government of real independents formed of competent ministers who are specialist and know exactly what to do .”

No Hope 

“But it seems that there is no hope in this (new) government, because its formation has started by promising the Shiite duo and the Progressive Socialist Party certain portfolios,” Geagea added.

He warned that what happened with the Shiite duo will eventually “apply to the Free Patriotic Movement and others.”

“So how will this government be? At best, it will be similar to Diab’s government, so what would be the result? Nothing but further waste of time,” Geagea said.

Geagea’s comments came a day after  Rai urged Hariri to avoid secret under the table deals and to quickly form a new government that will start lifting the country out of financial crisis.

“Overcome the conditions and counter-conditions of the political groups, avoid the quagmire of interests…Beware of secret bilateral deals and promises,”Rai told Hariri last Sunday.

It appears that Hariri has not learned any lessons and is heading in the same direction as Diab . Any such cabinet as Diab’s is doomed to fail according to observers, since it will be unable to deliver the reforms needed to rescue the country from total financial collapse.