On Sunday, the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai sharply criticized Lebanon’s deputies and ministers, after failing to elect a president and the position remaining vacant.
With the presidential vacancy continuing after Parliament failed to elect a new president, the country lost the right to vote in the United Nations General Assembly, due to non-payment of the dues of the United Nations organization.
Lebanon was unable to cross the presidential vacancy period after 11 parliamentary sessions to elect a successor to outgoing President Michel Aoun, who left office at the end of last October.
The 11th session to elect the country’s president was attended by 110 deputies, including 37 deputies with a white paper. Candidate Michel Moawad got 34 votes, 29 deputies nullified their votes, and other candidates got a total of 10 votes.
During the Sunday Mass, the Maronite Patriarch, Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi, directed his speech to the deputies and ministers of the government of Lebanon, saying: “You, the nation’s deputies and ministers, are responsible for the new “stigma” that befalls Lebanon through your unacceptable performance, which is Lebanon’s loss of the right to vote in the assembly. The General Assembly of the United Nations, consisting of 193 members, due to non-payment of dues to the Lebanese state amounting to at least two million dollars, according to the Lebanese National News Agency.
He added, “Your responsibility increases with the fact that Lebanon is a founding country of the United Nations, and it was represented at that time during its founding by Charles Malik.”
Al-Rahi pointed out that “stopping the payment of Lebanese dues is not limited to the United Nations, but also includes Arab and international organizations to which Lebanon belongs.
And he continued: “If the matter was intended, then the sin is great, and if it was inadvertent, then the sin is greater,” adding: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves, O occupants of the House of Representatives and Ministers, in front of the United Nations and its achievements in the interest of Lebanon?”
He continued: Lebanon is a center for a number of its affiliated organizations and institutions, and it has adopted a permanent delegation to find out the country’s needs.
He said: “Today, 3,800 international officers and soldiers representing 48 countries serve in Lebanon amid daily dangers, the latest of which was the assassination of the Irish soldier in the town of Al-Aqibiya in the south.” .--
The Maronite Patriarch wondered, saying, How can the Lebanese state file complaints before the United Nations, and demand that it implement its resolutions related to Lebanon when it is not entitled to vote? How can we appeal to it to complete its mission in the bilateral agreement between Lebanon and Israel on energy and the demarcation of the southern borders? How do we ask her to continue providing humanitarian, living and educational assistance? How do we demand this and other things from her and not pay our dues to her?
He added, “At this time, the presidential vacancy continues, and internal and international efforts have not led to real progress towards electing a new president. Rather, we see that the positions between the internal axes with external extension diverge more and more, and distract public opinion with the issue of the government.”
And he added, “We have said since the first day of the end of the era, that this government is resigned and its mission is to conduct business, and it is its duty to reach an understanding on the interpretation of conducting business, not to create problems that we are indispensable for. And to prevent the final fall of the state, especially since the farce of the sessions to elect a president of the republic is still going on, and the decision to hold them in accordance with the constitution is stolen.
As for the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut and its dependencies, Archbishop Elias Odeh, he said during the Sunday Mass: “This week, we witnessed another episode of the play Election of a President, and it is sad that those who did not fully fulfill their duty complain and feel disgusted by the repetition of the farce.”
He raised a number of disapproving questions, saying: “Isn’t it better for them to do something that will get the parliament out of this deadly stalemate? Don’t they know how to form authorities in democratic systems, and how to conduct elections? How do the unemployed justify to their voters their failure to perform their constitutional and national duty? How do they justify putting Their interests before the public interest, and putting their narrow accounts before every expense? How can they laugh and mock while their people weep and cry? When will these people come out of their delusions that they are the center of the universe and that the world only thinks of them? What is this farce? .. A little humility and realism.