Rai says shameful to link Lebanon to Syrian crisis


Lebanon’s Cardinal Beshara Rai Sunday slammed Lebanon’s politicians for linking the country to the Syrian crisis and keeping important Lebanese issues on hold until the developments in Syria become clearer.

“Keeping Lebanese national issues pending until the fate of the Syrian crisis is clearer is shameful and unacceptable,” said Rai during his Sunday sermon.

Rai also criticized Lebanese politicians for failing to agree on a new electoral draft law ahead of the 2013 parliamentary elections.

“It’s a shame that political parties have suspended discussions on critical national topics, such as a new electoral draft law other than the 1960 law, the formation of a new Cabinet, holding elections on time and taking the right measures to boost the country’s economy,” the patriarch said.

He added that betting on developments in Syria will only provoke more divisions and problems in Lebanon.

The patriarch also totally rejected the 1960 law used in 2009 and based on a winner takes all system.

Lebanon’s political rivals have yet to agree on a new electoral law for the coming polls after the country plunged into a political crisis since October, halting discussions about a new bill for the elections.

The killing of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan on Oct. 19 deepened divisions between the March 8 and March 14 rival camps. Following the assassination, the March 14-led opposition decided to boycott the Cabinet and any parliamentary activity in which the government participates.



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