Report: Al-Rahi Admits to Reaching ‘Dead End’ in Presidential Crisis

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has said that the efforts exerted to resolve the presidential deadlock reached a “dead end” after he held the parliamentary blocs boycotting legislative sessions responsible for the vacuum at Baabda Palace.

Al-Rahi lamented to his visitors that the meetings he held with officials involved in the crisis failed to lead to any result, An Nahar daily said Monday.

The cardinal blamed the failure on the “Lebanese parties that are refusing to steer the presidential elections clear of the region’s crises.”

The heads of Christian parliamentary blocs who have refused to attend the sessions aimed at electing a new head of state are also to be blamed, al-Rahi told his visitors.

The Change and Reform bloc led by MP Michel Aoun has been boycotting the sessions, saying there should be an agreement on a compromise candidate first.

The rest of the blocs in the March 8 alliance, except for Speaker Nabih Berri’s lawmakers, have also boycotted the sessions.

Lebanon plunged into a vacuum at Baabda Palace after President Michel Suleiman’s six-year term expired on May 25 due to the lack of the needed two-thirds quorum.

Al-Rahi has on many occasions urged MPs to attend the electoral sessions, warning of the repercussions of a vacuum in the country’s top Christian post.

In his Sunday Sermon, he said lawmakers had disappointed the country by behaving in a way that the non-election of a president was a normal matter.

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