Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday lamented the ongoing exchange of tirades between President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Saad Hariri as “saddening and shameful.”
“It is truly saddening and shameful that an unjustified dispute over the implementation of Article 53/4 of the constitution is the reason behind the tense relation between the president and the PM-designate, which has reached the extent of communicating through the responses and counter-responses of press offices and loyalist political parties,” al-Rahi said in his Sunday Mass sermon.
“It is regrettable to say that these are not the norms for a relation between a president — who is supposed to rise above conflicts and parties — and a PM-designate who is supposed to coordinate with everyone and to be liberated from everyone,” the patriarch added.
Warning that Lebanon will not have a new government should the relation not be mended between Aoun and Hariri, al-Rahi emphasized that the two men are “obliged” to reach an agreement over a national “mission government.”
Its ministers should be “extraordinary specialists” and not “ordinary ones who belong to leaders and parties,” the patriarch added.
And as he condemned the violence that marred the latest protests in Tripoli and “the attacks on public institutions, private property, the Lebanese Army and security forces,” al-Rahi said politicians should have acted before the unrest to address the situations of the city’s impoverished neighborhoods.