Parliament Session Postponed over Dispute on Extension-Suspension of Candidacies

Disagreements between rival parties on the elections spiraled out of control on Tuesday leading to the postponement of a parliamentary session after a camp backed the suspension of candidacies for the June elections and another sought an extension.

A largescale meeting for parliament's bureau was held under Speaker Nabih Berri on Tuesday morning after a similar meeting the day before. It was attended by Caretaker Premier Najib Miqati, lawmakers from the Lebanese Forces and the Phalange and Marada movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh.

But the failure to agree on a formula that appeases the two camps, led to Berri's postponement of the parliamentary session to 3:00 pm Wednesday “to pave way for more consultations.”

A decision by al-Mustaqbal bloc to boycott the session on Tuesday was one of the reasons that led to the postponement, LBCI TV said.

The bloc decided to hold a meeting at 3:00 pm Tuesday after parliament's bureau meeting resulted in a preliminary deal to suspend the candidacies.

An Nahar daily had said that President Michel Suleiman, the March 14 alliance and the National Struggle Front are backing the extension of the deadlines for the announcement of candidacies but Berri and his bloc along with the Change and Reform bloc are seeking a suspension, which would cancel previous decrees that call for holding the elections base

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