Lebanon’s top Christian spiritual leader , Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday declared his support for Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, stressing that the army chief should not be changed until a new president is elected .
His comments come after an emergency meeting by the Lebanese caretaker Cabinet on Thursday failed to extend Aoun’s term which expires on January 10 .
Aoun has been proposed by many countries that have been mediating the presidential election as a consensual presidential candidate.
“The Parliament is not performing its essential duty of electing a president and the caretaker Cabinet is divided because of the permanent boycotters,” the patriarch said in his Sunday Mass sermon.
“The army chief should not be changed until the election of a president and it is not appropriate to repeat what happened in other institutions to avoid vacuum as an example, seeing as the issue here is related to preserving security across Lebanon and on the borders, especially in the South under Security Council Resolution 1701,” the patriarch added.
“Any change in the army should not be exploited for personalgains,” he added , calling on officials to “elect a president and stop gambling with the state.”