Naharnet

Report: Jumblat Postpones Resignation at Berri's Insistence

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has backed down from his decision to resign as a lawmaker at the request of Speaker Nabih Berri, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Saturday.

A parliamentary source revealed that Berri had asked Jumblat to postpone his resignation to May in order to allow the government to take the necessary arrangements to hold by-elections.

The by-elections would be aimed at filling the voids left at parliament from the death of MP Michel Helou and the resignation of Jumblat and expected resignation of Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh.

Franjieh is reportedly stepping down in favor of his son Tony.

The by-elections, should they be held, would take place in the Jezzine region, to fill Helou's seat, the Shouf region, to fill Jumblat's seat, and Zgharta, to fill Franjieh's seat.

Key to holding the by-elections is the government's formation of the authority to oversee the polls.

The parliamentary source told al-Joumhouria: “The formation of this authority and the suitable security and political conditions are necessary for the polls to be held.”

Jumblat had held talks earlier this week with Berri.

He is likely to cede his parliamentary seat to his son Taimur.

Helou passed away in June 2014 after a long battle with illness.

M.T.


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