Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai asserted on Friday that Lebanon is “facing a deliberate process aimed at excluding Maronites from the State.”

During his sermon at the St. Maron’s Day mass, Archbishop Rai elucidated that this process involves “the non-election of a president, the closure of the presidential palace, and a return to the exercise of power in a ‘doïka’ mode (referring to the presidential troika formed by the presidents of the Republic, the House and the Council of Ministers during the Syrian occupation, editor’s note) in an evident and unacceptable manner.” He was referring to the Sunni-Shiite partnership represented by the head of government, Najib Mikati, and the head of parliament, Nabih Berri, managing the country’s affairs in the absence of a Maronite president.

In this context, Archbishop Rai emphasized that, without a president, “the Constitution is being violated, and there is no authority to put an end to this abnormal reality.”

He stated, “Have we become a state with a totalitarian regime, replacing the system declared in the preamble to the Constitution?”

“We have grown skeptical of (obstructionist) intentions and perceive the blocking of the presidential election as holding suspicious ulterior motives that are unacceptable and condemnable,” he admonished.

In this regard, the Patriarch recalled the historic contribution of Maronites and their “decisive role in the establishment of the State of Greater Lebanon.”

“To save the country, we need a president who will bring an end to pseudo-governments of national unity, reject all illegal weapons, and confront anyone undermining sovereignty and independence so that Lebanon does not become a state of dependence and occupation,” he concluded.