Al-Rahi says army chief shouldn't be changed until election of president
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday threw his support behind Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, saying that the army chief should not be changed until the election of a new president.
Aoun's term expires on January 10 and the patriarch is effectively calling for extending it, seeing as no president will likely be elected before that.
"Parliament is not performing its essential duty of electing a president and the caretaker Cabinet is divided because of the permanent boycotters," al-Rahi lamented in his Sunday Mass sermon.
"The army chief should not be changed until the election of a president and it is not appropriate to take what happened in other institutions to avoid vacuum as an example, seeing as the issue here is related to preserving security across Lebanon and on the borders, especially in the South under Security Council Resolution 1701," the patriarch added.
"Any change in the army requires wisdom and it should not be exploited for personal ends," al-Rahi went on to say, calling on officials to "elect a president and stop gambling with the state."