Catholic World News

Maronite Patriarch sees Lebanon empty presidency pushing Lebanon toward collapse

February 08, 2016

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Beshara al Rai has warned that Lebanon is "on the brink of collapse" because of a long political stalemate that has blocked the election of a new president, the AsiaNews service reports.

On February 7, the Maronite prelate made a new appeal to the members of the deadlocked Lebanese parliament, saying that they should back away from the entrenched positions that have prevented the selection of a new leader. He pleaded with them to serve "the common good" rather than their partisan interests.

Since May 2014, when former President Michel Suleiman ended his term, rival factions in parliament have blocked the election of a new leader. Lebanon's political charter calls for the selection of a Maronite Christian, but the two leading political blocs-- one supporting Hezbollah, with ties to Iran, the other backing Saad Hariri, with ties to Saudi Arabia-- have refused to compromise.

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