Maronite Bishops urge state to firmly impose security

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The Maronite Bishop Council Wednesday urged the state to be firm in imposing security throughout Lebanon, referring to the recent clashes in the northern city of Tripoli.

“Security cannot be established by appeasing all sides, but by taking firm action,” the bishops said in a statement released following their monthly meeting in Bkirki.

The bishops said there should be no thing as “security by consent,” asserting that negotiating security damages the state authority.

“We appreciate the role and sacrifices of the army and all security forces,” said the bishops, adding that officials should grant “complete political” cover for the security forces in their mission to restore calm in Lebanon.

The Army implemented a security plan in the northern city of Tripoli Monday, deploying in both the rival neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh to end the fighting that spilled over into other neighborhoods in the city.

The clashes were provoked by the death of a number of Lebanese fighters in the Syrian border town of Tal Kalakh.

The bishops also called for a new Lebanese electoral law and for the formation of a new Cabinet to supervise the 2013 parliamentary polls.

“It is necessary to distinguish between the political crisis and the work of constitutional institutions, especially Parliament,” the bishops said, as they voiced concern over the failure to reach an agreement over a new electoral law.

They urged Lebanon’s political parties to discuss suggestions on the electoral law in the Parliament.

Parliamentary activity in Lebanon was frozen following the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan in a car bomb that targeted Beirut’s Ashrafieh on Oct. 19. The killing prompted the March 14-led opposition to boycott the Cabinet and parliamentary activities in which it is involved.

However, the opposition said Monday that it would take part in talks pertaining to the electoral law, provided that the government absents from the meetings of the parliamentary sub-committee discussing the formation of a new bill for the coming polls.

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