Lebanon's New President Must Be 'Figure of Consensus'

Patriarch Rai on Ideal Profile of Future Leader

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Lebanon’s next head of state should be “a figure of consensus supported by the people, so that he can lead the warring parties together instead of creating a new crisis.”

This is according to Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Rai, in an interview with the Lebanese newspaper al-Joumhouria, saying he did not think it likely that Michel Aoun or Samir Geagea, two Christian leaders, could become the President of the Lebanese Republic.

Aoun and Samir are the two most well-known Christian leaders linked to the two blocks – the “March 8 Coalition ” and the” March 14 Coalition” – which for years have been in contrast with each other, with crippling effects on the functioning of national institutions.

Patriarch Rai has stressed in his statements to the Lebanese press that the Maronite Church does not endorse any single candidate.

However, he has also outlined the ideal profile of the future President of Lebanon, who must have “solid moral references, integrity, experience, faith in the Lebanese State and in regional and international relations, in order to revitalize the role of institutions and govern the Country in difficult times”.

The six-year term of the incumbent President, Michel Sleiman, ends on 25 May.

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