Al-Rahi Contacts Hariri, Stresses Need to Hold Presidential Elections on Time

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi telephoned on Thursday night Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri to discuss the presidential elections, reported the National News Agency on Friday.

It said that the two leaders stressed the need to hold the elections “within the constitutional deadline.”

The polls should be held as soon as possible in order to preserve Lebanon’s stability and democracy, they added.

The new president should be up to the task of ruling Lebanon and representing the country on the regional and international scenes, they stated.

The first round of the presidential elections was held on Wednesday, but parliament failed to elect a new head of state after none of the candidates, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Democratic Gathering MP Henri Helou, received the needed 86 votes of lawmakers.

The second round of the polls will be held on April 30 where a candidate needs 65 votes to be elected president.

President Michel Suleiman’s six-year term ends on May 25.

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