March 14 Forces Agree to Return to Parliamentary Subcommittee Meetings

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March 14 opposition members of the parliamentary subcommittee announced on Monday that they will return to the committee meetings aimed at discussing a new parliamentary electoral law.

They announced, after a meeting held at MP Butros Harb's residence, that they will return to the meetings, which will be held a hotel near the parliament building in downtown Beirut, adding that the discussions should not exceed one week.

The MPs therefore agreed to Speaker Nabih Berri's proposal that the subcommittee meetings be held at a hotel near parliament out of security fears over the lives of the lawmakers.

The meeting at Harb's residence was attended by MPs Samir al-Jisr, Assem Araji, Ziad al-Qadiri, Antoine Saad, Ahmed Fatfat, Dory Shamoun, Ammar Houri, Marwan Hamadeh, Mohammed Qabbani, Antoine Zahra, Badr Wannous, Nabil de Freij, Fouad al-Saad, Atef Majdalani, Robert Ghanem, and Samer Saadeh.

Jisr said after the talks: “We are committed to holding the elections on time and hold the March 8 camp responsible for any delay given the suspicious statements issued by some of its members recently.”

He made his remark in reference to Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's statements on Tuesday that the “people should not be concerned if the elections are not staged,” blaming the opposition for any possible postponement.

Jisr said that the remarks belie the real intentions of the March 8 camp, which may be seeking to thwart the elections.

He also renewed the March 14 demand the that the government resign in favor of the formation of a neutral one that can honestly oversee the parliamentary elections set for 2013.

The parliamentary subcommittee is expected to resume its meetings in the new year, reported An Nahar daily on Monday.

Hamadeh expected them to be held “immediately” after the new year, added the daily.

The pan-Arab daily al-Hayat revealed Monday that the MPs will likely meet at Hotel Etoile, which is located near the parliament building in downtown Beirut.

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Thumb zalgouta 24 December 2012, 19:07