Top Christian rabbi says According to Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati meets Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai at the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 26, 2021. Dalati Nohra / Handout via REUTERS


BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s top Christian cleric on Sunday said it was “a shame” that politicians had yet to form a new cabinet nearly three months after the election, blaming an economic feud Their age is the cause of the “decline” of the country.

Many Lebanese see the long-ruling elite as plagued by corruption and dysfunction, and blame them for plunging Lebanon into an economic and financial crisis that leaves eight out of ten people poor.

In his weekly homily, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rai drew an unfavorable comparison between Lebanon’s progress in securing a maritime border agreement with its longtime enemy Israel and the lack of peace. in domestic politics.

“Isn’t it shameful that the authorities are trying to reach an agreement with Israel on the maritime border but refuse to form a government?,” he said.

“Isn’t the division of political power in Lebanon, and between the parties … the basis of the political, economic, financial and social decay of that (country)?” he added.

Rai wields considerable influence in Lebanon, where the political system is based on the sharing of power between different Muslim and Christian denominations, with the presidency being reserved for a Maronite Catholic.

When he called on politicians to resolve the crisis, Rai appeared to be trying to break the deadlock.

The Maronite cardinal said “ugly campaigns in the media” appeared aimed at delaying the formation of a government and a new presidential election later this year.

Rai is alluding to the growing dispute between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who was re-nominated as prime minister following May’s parliamentary elections and is struggling to form a new cabinet. .

Mikati presented a quick draft of the cabinet to Aoun in June and stuck to it, although Aoun suggested a different makeover.

Last week, Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement released a wave of claims, accusing Mikati of delaying cabinet formation and even amassing wealth through corruption.

Mikati’s office responded by saying that Aoun’s party did not match the reality in Lebanon.

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