Report: Which Parliament Blocs Will Vote for Berri’s Re-Election?
Lebanon’s parliament is set to convene on Wednesday to re-elect longtime Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri for a six time after declarations in favor of his re-election were made by the majority of parliament blocs.
Lawmakers that declared support for Berri for another term were reportedly listed by MTV as follows: al-Mustaqbal Movement bloc MPs comprised of 20 lawmakers, AMAL Movement (17), Hizbullah (13), Progressive Socialist Party (9), Marada Movement and its allies (7), al-Azm Movement MPs (4), Syrian Social Nationalist Party (3), and independent MPs totalling to 7.
On the other hand, Lebanese Forces party which gained 15 seats in the latest general elections, said it’s lawmakers will cast blank ballots in the vote, except for MP-elect Qaysar al-Maalouf of Zahle district who said he will vote for Berri’s re-election for “considerations related to the specificity of the Bekaa region and its sectarian diversity.”
Twenty nine MPs of the Free Patriotic Movement’s Strong Lebanon bloc will probably cast blank votes after the Movemnet’s chief MP Jebran Bassil announced they have the “freedom” to vote for Speaker Nabih Berri or cast blank ballots during Wednesday's speaker election session.
The Kataeb party bloc comprised of 3 lawmakers has not decided yet on a final position, while MP-elect Paula Yaacoubian --representing civil society Sabaa Party-- said she “will not vote for any of the candidates nor cast a blank ballot, but will make a special vote.”
Berri, 80, has held the parliament for a quarter-century, and is set to be re-elected as speaker for a sixth time, when the new assembly convenes after national elections earlier this month — the first in nine years.