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Lebanon Grand Mufti says there will be no change in government system

September 26, 2023 at 9:14 pm

Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian on October 9, 2014 [Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Lebanon’s Grand Mufti said, Tuesday, that there will be no change in the country’s system of government, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a televised statement marking the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Abdul Latif Derian said the Islamic-Christian partnership and coexistence will remain intact under the 1989 Taif Agreement.

“There is no place for proposals that tear the nation apart and divide the Lebanese in their homeland, Lebanon, a country of unity and diversity,” Derian said.

In October 1989, Lebanese officials signed the Taif Agreement in Saudi Arabia, ending 15 years of civil war.

Under the Agreement, the post of parliament speaker is reserved for Shia Muslims, while the premiership is earmarked for Sunni Muslims and the presidency is allotted to Maronite Christians.

READ: Remembering the Taif Accord

The religious leader said internal efforts “are the basis for holding presidential elections, while external efforts are a helping factor.”

He added that the presidential vote “will happen no matter how severe the rift is.”

Since last October, Lebanon has been unable to elect a new president to replace former President Michel Aoun, amid differences among political rivals.

Christian political groups have called for changing the current parliamentary system in Lebanon into a federal one.

Lebanon has been without a fully functioning government since last May, with Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and his Cabinet having limited powers in their current caretaker status.

READ: Lebanon risks being ‘ostracised’ if presidential vacuum lingers – France envoy