Berri Warns Parliament Boycott Paralyzes Monitoring Authority

Speaker Nabih Berri has warned that the boycott of parliamentary sessions would paralyze the power that the legislature exercises to monitor the government's activities.

In remarks carried by several local dailies published on Wednesday, Berri said: “The boycott of the parliament leads to dangerous consequences and paralyzes the monitoring power that it exercises, turning the cabinet into a caretaker” authority.

The speaker vowed to continue to call for parliamentary sessions to approve the public sector's wage hike draft-law so that there would not be a precedence on the paralysis of the legislature over the boycott of certain blocs.

Christian lawmakers and al-Mustaqbal bloc MPs boycotted a session that was scheduled to be held on Tuesday to discuss the wage scale in protest at the failure to elect a new president.

Berri set a new session for June 10. “Legislation should not stop,” he said.

About a June 9 session that is aimed at electing a president, Berri hoped that the rival parties would “reach a certain agreement” by that date.

“No one can hold the elections alone … The polls are carried out by both sides,” he said about the March 8 and 14 alliances, whose rivalries prevented parliament from electing a head of state.

“I have the presidential elections as a priority. That's why I set the (June 9) session before the legislative session,” Berri added.

President Michel Suleiman left Baabda Palace on Sunday after the expiry of his six-year term and following the failure of lawmakers to elect a head of state over their differences on a compromise candidate.



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