Berri Says Some Didn't 'Honor Their Promises' on Legislative Session
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Tuesday lamented that “some parties did not honor their promises” regarding Tuesday’s botched legislative session.
“The parliamentary blocs and MPs were honest, according to their statements, but other sides did not honor their promises,” Berri told his visitors, hours after he was forced to postpone the session due to lack of quorum.
Several parliamentary blocs and MPs boycotted the controversial session, as others failed to reach parliament due to a blockade imposed by thousands of anti-corruption protesters.
According to TV networks, only five out of 128 MPs managed to enter parliament building.
Berri had postponed the session last Tuesday over “security concerns.”
MPs were scheduled to discuss a bill to grant amnesty to thousands convicted of a range of offenses.
The demonstrators see the draft law as a way to clear powerful figures charged with or convicted of crimes ranging from tax evasion to breaches of environmental regulations.
"They want an amnesty to escape (charges) of tax evasion and to release criminals onto the streets," said one activist who gave her name as Tracy, 24, and who criticized the "illegitimate" parliament.
The non-government group Legal Agenda labelled the proposed law "a great danger."
The parliamentarians had also been due to consider a bill to create a court specializing in financial crimes and the mismanagement of public funds.
Its judges would be appointed by the legislature, raising further fears of conflicts of interest among protesters.