Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al Rahi criticized Monday the efforts of some political parties to obstruct the implementation of Lebanon’s constitution, the formation of its government, and the crucial upcoming presidential elections.
“We can not thrive in atmospheres of hatred, accusations, and abuse, at the level of political parties and blocs, as is unfortunately happening today. An atmosphere like this poisons the life of citizens,” said Rahi during his Sunday mass sermon.
He added that Lebanon’s “tragedy” is the fact that many (political parties) do not admit their mistakes or regret them, “so we live in a sin structure. This reality amounted to the disruption of constitutional life and (the state) institutions.”
The Patriarch rejected all kinds of “malicious” endeavors paralyzing the crisis-hit country, stressing the need to form a new government and prevent a vacuum at the top state post when the term of President Michel Aoun ends on October 31.
“We are not silent, but we reject paralyzing the nation, we are not silent but we reject obstructions to the constitution, we are not silent but we reject obstructions to the formation of the government, we are not silent but we reject obstruction to the election of a new President,” he stated, without naming any party in particular.
Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati was tasked to form a new cabinet on June 23, but his efforts have failed so far.
On the investigations into the Beirut port explosion and the move to name an alternate judge, replacing Judge Tarek Bitar, Rahi said: “It is unfortunate that the Lebanese have reached a state of mistrust and politicization, which is what’s happening today between the families of victims of the Beirut port bombing and caretaker Justice Minister Henri Khoury,” al-Rahi said in his Sunday Mass sermon.
“The investigative judge in the case, Tarek Bitar, is staying in his post and by law is in charge of the investigation file, but his hands are tied due to the finance minister’s refusal to sign the decree of judicial appointments,” added Rahi.