The Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament said on Tuesday that Al-Taif Agreement has not been fully implemented, and some loopholes must be amended, especially the constitutional deadlines.

Iran PressMiddle East: Elias Bou Saab said, "No Lebanese side has the majority to elect a president. Therefore, there must be a consensus between the parties,” expecting that “internal and external pressures related to the election of a President will increase at the end of the year or early next year."

It is necessary to agree on a president, he pointed out in an exclusive interview with Al Mayadeen, noting that “the dispute is not over the person nominated or his program.”

Bou Saab stated that he "voted for former minister Ziyad Baroud," pointing out that his vote for him in the presidential election session was not coordinated with Baroud or anyone else.

"There is no alternative to reaching an agreement, and whoever wants to blame the deputies should go ahead and invite the political parties in the major blocs to dialogue," he stressed, adding that "pressure must be increased towards serious dialogue and understanding" when it comes to the election of a president.

Bou Saab urged "Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, at this stage, to invite the political parties to dialogue," stressing that "the stagnation in the process of electing a president for the republic is a big mistake, especially amid the security and economic situations in Lebanon."

"Minister Gebran Bassil adopting the candidacy of former Minister Sleiman Frangieh is off the table," adding that "it is unfortunate that we have reached Independence Day, and Lebanon faces a presidential vacancy."


Stability is a must before gas extraction

Regarding the maritime borders demarcation file, he said that "he has information that Total oil conglomerate is carrying out studies to purchase proper drilling equipment, adding that drilling in Block 9 may kick off by the beginning of spring."

"Stability in Lebanon is a must before the start of gas extraction," Bou Saab stressed, noting that "the one who benefited from obstructing the demarcation and the relevant dialogue session is the Israeli enemy because it wanted to buy time."

However, Bou Saab noted the resistance's role in accelerating the negotiations, adding that "Lebanon obtained its full rights in the maritime demarcation deal, including the entirety of the Qana field."

"The national consensus between the three presidents gave us as negotiators an additional point of strength," he added.

"We negotiated with Cyprus, and we have reached a final agreement on amending the existing agreement on the demarcation of maritime borders," he told Al Mayadeen.

"Lebanon must keep communicating with Damascus regarding the demarcation of the maritime borders," he noted, pointing out that "any party who rejects donations from Iran or others must bear responsibility."

Last month, the Lebanese presidency announced that an official delegation would go to Damascus to discuss the demarcation of the maritime borders, but the visit did not take place, as the Syrian ambassador to Beirut reported that there had been "ambiguity" regarding setting the date.

It is noteworthy that Lebanon signed an agreement with the Israeli occupation to demarcate its maritime borders on October 29, and the process was widely welcomed at the regional and international levels.