Syriac Maronite Patriarch al-Rai reiterates call for Lebanese Parliament to elect new president

BEIRUT — Amid Lebanon’s prolonged political turmoil and lack of a duly elected president, Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rai voiced his criticism of the political inefficiencies in the country, particularly within constitutional institutions.

During the Divine Mass presided over on the Sunday of the Annunciation of Zechariah, and marking the Seventh World Day of the Poor at the Patriarchal Edifice in Beth Kerke (Bkerke), the Patriarch expressed deep concern over the Parliament’s failure to fulfill its crucial duties, particularly the prolonged delay in electing a new president. The absence of such a vital leadership figure for over a year undermines the functioning of the country, leading to a lapse in legislative responsibilities, accountability, and oversight, said the Patriarch.

Patriarch al-Rai unequivocally asserted that obstructive forces have no justification to further delay the presidential election, emphasizing that they must refrain from causing crises. He urgently called on these parties to cease jeopardizing the stability of the state, its people, and its dignity, emphasizing the need to safeguard state institutions, notably the army.

In addition, the Patriarch criticized the caretaker government led by Najib Mikati, highlighting internal divisions stemming from constant boycotts. This internal discord, as noted by the Patriarch, has resulted in the government’s inefficiency in exercising its powers, contributing to the economic challenges faced by the Lebanese people.