The Maronite Patriarchate supports the election of Michel Aoun to the presidency of Lebanon, to end nearly two and a half years of stalemate and a half of political impasse that led to the charge holiday.
Msgr. Boulos Sayyah, vicar general of the Maronite Patriarchate and
right hand man to Card. Bechara Rai, emphasizes that it is "quite
normal" to promote the candidature of Aoun because he "enjoys the
support of the majority of Christians."
Speaking to the Lebanese newspaper al-Joumhouria, the prelate said that
the Maronite Patriarch would be satisfied if the choice should rest with
the leader and founder of the Free Patriotic Movement.
Msgr. Sayyah noted : “he latest political developments at the
presidential level are promising after (ex-PM Saad) Hariri gave momentum
to the file. Patriarch al-Rahi rejoices for the election of Aoun and he
has echoed that several times”.
The vicar general also pointed to support "the election of Aoun, but
this does not mean that we prefer one candidate over another." The
reference is to Suleiman Franjieh, a leader of the Marada Movement, also
vying for the highest state chair.
Msgr. Sayyah reiterated several times that the patriarchy will “support
the president who will be elected. It is normal that Aoun becomes a
president because he has the support of the majority of Christians, now
that the Lebanese Forces back him too.” "
"The election of a head of state - the bishop concludes - will also
facilitate agreement on other outstanding issues, including a new
In recent days, the issue was addressed the same Patriarch Rai, who
recalled once more that the failure of the political class and
leadership in electing the President of Lebanon opens its doors to the
influence of foreign powers, who end up deciding on internal fate of the
Since May 2014, the end of Michel Suleiman’s mandate, the Land of the
Cedars has been without a president. In recent months, the Free
Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah and its allies have repeatedly boycotted
the vote for the renewal of the office, by denying a quorum.
An open opposition between two rival fronts is to blame: March 8
(Hezbollah Shiites, close to Iran) and the March 14 block (headed by
Saad Hariri and backed by Saudi Arabia).
The two main camps in the country are divided between supporting
Franjieh Suleiman and Michel Aoun. So far they have failed to reach an
agreement to unlock the situation.