Finally a President Is Elected in Lebanon

The Lebanese parliament elected 81-year-old Michel Aoun, pictured in 2015, as president Oct. 31, ending a two-and-a-half-year power vacuum. (CNS photo/Nabil Mounzer, EPA)

Cardinal Bechara Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics, welcomed the election of a new Lebanese president, ending a two-and-a-half-year power vacuum that had crippled the country’s government institutions. The cardinal also expressed his hope for the acceleration of a unified government and “direct action to save Lebanon from political, economic and social suffering.” He urged newly elected President Michel Aoun and other politicians to heed the words of the apostle Paul, to forget what lies behind and to forge ahead to the future. Under Lebanon's power-sharing system, the presidential post is reserved for a Maronite Catholic. Aoun, 81, elected on Oct. 31, is the only Christian head of state in the Arab world. Aoun’s election follows 45 successive failed attempts by the legislators to elect a president since the term of former President Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014, a reflection of the sectarian power struggle that defines the country’s political arena.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


The latest from america

The editors offer a few key steps for leaders of the church to take in response to the Pa. grand jury report.
The EditorsAugust 17, 2018
This week, we talk with Julio Ricardo Varela, founder of Latino Rebels, a website founded in 2011 that provides news, analysis and commentary about U.S. Latino culture.
Olga SeguraAugust 17, 2018
"The Catholic Cook Book," published in 1965, is exactly that: a cookbook for Catholics and those who want to learn about Catholicism and how it relates to food.
Vivian CabreraAugust 16, 2018
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington is pictured as Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Washington Sept. 23, 2015. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror.”