Christian Front of Lebanon rejects call of Speaker of Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri to hold dialogue session over presidency

BEIRUT — The Christian Front of Lebanon issued a public statement rejecting calls made by Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon Nabih Berri to hold a dialogue session and agree on a common candidate to be elected as President of Lebanon, saying it is an attempt to undermine what remains of the concept of parliamentary democracy in the country.

The Front emphasized that this call aims to prolong the power vacuum that exists at the presidential level, pending the outcome of the U.S.-Iranian negotiations.

“It aims to seize and strike the remaining positions and power for Christians in Lebanon,” read the statement.

The Front added that all Lebanese MPs, especially Christians, must stop this farce through their insistence on meeting to name a candidate who expresses their aspirations first, and the aspirations of all Lebanese.

The Front questioned why it should respect the will of the Shiite community in choosing its representative for the presidency of the House of Representatives, while Shiite parties do not respect the choices of the Front. The same applies to the Sunni community, which has the primary role in naming the Prime Minister, said the statement.

The Front expressed its concerns that the current situation will devolve into chaos and a president will, yet again, be elected that does not represent the will of the Lebanese people.

The Front stated that the six-year reign of President Michel Aoun was harsh, painful, and full of internal and external economic, security, and political crises.

“Aoun’s reign burdened Lebanon and its people with poverty and hunger and dragged Lebanon to the ages of darkness,” the Front stated, adding that it was a failed centralist and reformist regime that served the interests of the Baathist dictatorship and Iran.

The Christian Front called on the sovereign and free Lebanese who are committed to true coexistence, to demand the implementation of the federal system as soon as possible.

Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Beshara Boutros al-Raï supported the Christian Front opinion, indicating that the Baabda chair remaining empty is against the Christians of Lebanon and the East in general.

The Patriarch stated that the road leading to Baabda palace must be based on the Lebanese law and constitution.