Lebanon’s top Christian cleric has reiterated calls for politicians to speed up the formation of an all-party government and elect a new president to pull the country out of its doldrums.
“The government should be inclusive, inspire confidence through its national approach and seriously address some outstanding issues,” Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi said in a homily in Bkerke on Sunday.
He cited Article 73 of the Constitution, which requires the election of a new president at least one month and no more than two months before the current president’s term expires.
Rahi expressed his regret at Lebanon’s current “isolation” from the Arab world, having been a “partner for the advancement of societies.”
“Unfortunately, Lebanon is more affected than other countries by regional developments because many of its parties have decided to take sides,” Rahi lamented.
He expressed regret that all regional countries are stepping forward trying to overcome obstacles while Lebanon is mired in problems and crises.
Rahi further stressed that the only way for Lebanon to achieve stability and growth is to be neutral towards regional developments.
He pledged to help all relevant parties overcome obstacles, form a new government and elect a president to save the country, restore its sovereignty and put it back on track.
He said delays in forming a government were an exception in any country in the world, but had become the norm in Lebanon.
“We are not willing to succumb to fate, accept the logic of life in perpetual crisis, or submit to the status quo,” Rahi stressed. He reiterated that he would spare no internal, Arab and international efforts to save Lebanon.
He realized that waiting only means wasting opportunities and losing the country.