Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sfeir criticises those who pose “preconditions” to the election of head of state

The Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir has contested requests by Lebanon’s parliamentary opposition, which place conditions on the election of the President of the Republic.

Is it reasonable to enchain the president and force him to name an army commander and a prime minister before electing him?” the cardinal asked at the end of a series of meetings with political, social and religious leaders.

The Maronite Patriarch’s words come on the eve of a new parliamentary session, which is due to due held tomorrow to elect a new Head of State.

The session, however, appears destined for failure, just as the last ten meetings, even though all involved have expressed their support for army chief, Michel Sleiman.

The opposition is imposing a series of “preconditions" ranging from government formation to national unity as well as the choice of next army chief, and the duration of presidential mandates.

The prelate spoke out strongly against this attitude as well as the “closure of Parliament”: in fact, for months now the Parliamentary speaker’ Nabih Berri – leader of Amal, opposition movement – has refused to convoke deputies.
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