Al-Rahi: National Pact is the Spirit of the Constitution

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September 09, 2016

The 1943 National Pact is “the spirit of the constitution and a constitution without spirit would be dead letters,” Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said on Thursday.

“Through the Pact, the Lebanese said that they want to live together as Christians and Muslims in full trust, coexistence, equality, dignity, cooperation, integration and diversity,” al-Rahi said during a mass in the Jbeil town of Hsarat.

“We cannot build the national structure without being all one hand and one heart,” the patriarch added.

“But that requires rising above partisan interests, inflexible stances and bigoted viewpoints in order to think of a solution together with the other parties,” he said.

The Free Patriotic Movement, which has the biggest Christian bloc in parliament, has suspended its participation in cabinet sessions and national dialogue meetings over accusations that other parties in the country are not respecting the National Pact.

The National Pact is an unwritten agreement that set the foundations of modern Lebanon as a multi-confessional state based on Christian-Muslim partnership.

The FPM's boycott of cabinet meetings was initially linked to the thorny issue of military and security appointments. The movement has long voiced reservations over the government's decision-taking mechanism in the absence of a president.

Addressing Prime Minister Tammam Salam on Friday, FPM chief Jebran Bassil said “the son of late PM Saeb Salam must pay great attention when he says that the government is respecting the National Pact when it convenes in the presence of ministers representing only six percent of a main component of the country (Christians).”

Bassil has also warned that the country might be soon plunged into a “political system crisis” if the other parties do not heed the FPM's demands regarding Muslim-Christian “partnership.”

Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh hit back at Bassil on Monday, saying Marada and the other Christian parties in the cabinet “represent a lot more than six percent.”

Source: Naharnet 


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