Bassil Says Bloc MPs Free to Cast Blank Ballots or Vote for Berriإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil announced Tuesday that the members of the FPM's Strong Lebanon bloc have the “freedom” to vote for Speaker Nabih Berri or cast blank ballots during Wednesday's speaker election session.
“We have decided to allow the bloc's members to vote in the way they see appropriate – whether they choose to cast blank ballots or vote for Speaker Berri,” Bassil announced after the bloc's weekly meeting.
Citing the Lebanese Forces' decision to cast blank ballots, Bassil explained that should the FPM endorse the same stance, it would give the impression that “the vast majority of Christians is rejecting this nomination” of Berri.
“We would be facing a scenario of major Christian rejection of a major Shiite choice and this cannot be overlooked. The FPM has always paid prices to prevent the isolation of any sect and we are the guardians of the (1943) National Pact” of confessional coexistence, Bassil added.
The FPM chief also confirmed support for the nomination of Prime Minister Saad Hariri for the premiership and Strong Lebanon MP Elie al-Ferzli for the deputy speaker post.