Report: Opposition's Participation in Joint Committees Meeting Unclear over Cabinet Boycott

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The opposition March 14 alliance is set to announce whether its MPs will participate on Wednesday in the meeting of joint parliamentary committees to study electoral draft-laws after it criticized Speaker Nabih Berri for rushing to set the date, An Nahar daily reported.

The newspaper said on Sunday that the coalition will reveal whether March 14 lawmakers will attend the meeting that Berri has called for following the failure of a parliamentary subcommittee to agree on a draft-law.

An Nahar quoted al-Mustaqbal movement sources as saying that “the meeting of the joint committees will be a scene of continued political differences.”

They were surprised by Berri's invitation, hinting that the speaker was seeking to lure the opposition MPs to the meeting to end their boycott of the government.

Cabinet ministers usually attend the deliberations of joint committees.

By Sunday it was almost certain that the ministers will attend Wednesday's meeting given that the government has referred an electoral draft-law to parliament along with other proposals made by several blocs.

But the March 14 alliance announced its boycott of all government-related activity in October after it blamed the cabinet for the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Wissam al-Hasan.

Parliamentary opposition sources also wondered in remarks to An Nahar about the intention of Berri in speeding up the meeting of the joint committees.

The nine-member subcommittee will meet on Tuesday to approve a report on the results of its discussions after its failure in more than two weeks of deliberations to agree on a law.

It has examined the draft-law proposed by the cabinet, the so-called Orthodox Gathering proposal, a draft-law that would divide Lebanon into 50 small districts, and a hybrid suggestion made by Berri that combines the proportional representation with winner-takes-all systems.

Comments 1
Thumb lebanon_first 27 January 2013, 10:15

Enough with your stupid boycott. We are paying you to go to parliament and discuss our interests, not for you to enjoy body guards and relax at home and in parties. You have a duty to the people to represent them while the only thing that you seem to care about is to be reelected. We all hate HA's weapons, which should go. But with your unilateral fixation on it, our M14 message has been lost somewhere. You became nothing but a bunch of employees on the payroll of an exiled leader.