Maronite bishops warn against Lebanon's 'collapse'

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August 05, 2015 By The Daily Star

The Council of Maronite Bishops reiterated its concerns Wednesday over the 14-month presidential vacuum, warning that the deadlock foreshadows the collapse of the Lebanese republic.

"All political blocs should nominate their final candidates for the presidency and attend a democratic parliamentary session set to elect a new head of state," the council said in a statement read by Monsignor Nabih Teres after the bishops’ monthly meeting in Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai’s summer residence in Diman.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Sleiman ended in May 2014. Rivals have found it hard to reach an agreement on a candidate over political disputes.

The council also warned the "political paralysis compels us to not discard our national unity," highlighting the importance of "abiding by the Constitution to overcome crises."

On the garbage crisis, which the government is struggling to find solutions for, the bishops underlined the risks of neglecting the country's best interests in favor of narrow benefits.

After the government permanently closed down Beirut and Mount Lebanon’s main Naameh landfill, an alternative waste-disposal site could not be found.

Piles of garbage mounted in the streets, and municipalities began to dump illegally in valleys, forests and populated areas.

The council also hailed the Iranian nuclear deal.

"It proved the importance of dialogue," the council said, hoping that the deal would have "positive outcomes and end wars in Palestine, Iraq and Syria through peaceful solutions."

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The Daily Star


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