Patriarch Rai defines the type of president Lebanon should elect to replace Aoun

File photo: A huge rally in Bkirki in support of Patriarch Rai’s neutrality calls. “No right shall be wasted. I understand your pain and anger well. I understand your revolt. Do not stay silent about politicizing the judiciary. Do not stay silent about illegal arms. Do not stay silent about innocents kept in prisons, or the naturalization of Palestinians. Do not stay silent about the coup against the state and system. Do not stay silent about the delayed government formation, or about reforms or our martyrs. .” Rai told the people at the rally on March 2021

 Lebanese Cardinal and Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Béchara Boutros Raï, in his homily on Sunday July 10, in Diman presiding in the church of the Patriarch’s summer residence warned against the delay in electing a new president for Lebanon to replace president Michel Aoun whose term expires on October 31

This “change at the top” must be “taken within institutional deadlines and dates”, he said and went on to define the type of president Lebanon should elect to replace Aoun.

A president must be elected who is “politically committed and experienced, courageous and bold, a statesman who is neutral in its integrity and is guided by its patriotism”, who knows how to stand “above the alliances between the parties and the dialectics between the opposing political axes”. 

He also said during his sermon that “not facilitating the formation of a new government with full constitutional powers” is an “act of sabotage.”

“Leaving the country without a government at the end of a presidential term … would certainly lead to weakening the representative nature of the Lebanese state in negotiating with the international community,” he warned.

In other words he wants a president who is completely different from General Aoun.

During president Aoun’s tenure Lebanon witnessed an unprecedented economic collapse that the World Bank has ranked among the worst in the world since the mid-19th century. Aoun and his political team failed to accomplish any significant reforms, “despite having the largest parliamentary and ministerial blocs,” The Lebanese currency lost more than 90 percent of its value and 4 out 5 Lebanese fell below the poverty line with the intensification of the collapse .

Founder of FPM ( Free Patriotic Movement ,) President Michel Aoun signed a memorandum of understand with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in February 2006 . The agreement landed Aoun the presidency , but reportedly it also led to the collapse of Lebanon as a sovereign country and made it a colony of Iran

Aoun lacked the vision to deal with the collapse of the Lebanese economy following his decision for Lebanon to default for the first time ever on the Eurobonds.

His alliance with Hezbollah distanced Lebanon from its Arab neighbors . The majority of the Lebanese now feel that Lebanon under Aoun is completely controlled by Hezbollah and its illegal arms and has become a colony of Iran