Fattoush Submits Draft-Law to Extend Parliament’s Term

Zahle MP Nicolas Fattoush submitted on Tuesday a draft-law to extend the parliament's term by two years and seven months.

“The exceptional circumstances compelled me to make this move,” Fattoush told reporters at the parliament.

He pointed out that he based his decision on several legal documents, in particular the French law.

Fattoush wondered if the Lebanese state could ensure the safe electoral process if the elections were staged.

“The two years and seven months period is to make sure that the exceptional circumstances have vanished.”

Lebanon will enter on August 20 a deadline to agree on a new electoral law ahead of the November elections.

Fattoush's move comes amid an ongoing presidential deadlock that has put its weight on the parliamentary elections.

Sources close to the March 14 alliance said in comments published in al-Akhbar newspaper earlier on Tuesday that the coalition was mulling either staging timely parliamentary elections or extending the term of the legislature for another six months.

“We reject the extension (of the parliament's tenure) for two years,” the sources pointed out.

The daily quoted sources as saying that the Christian powers “must be granted the final word before any extension.”

However, circles close to the Progressive Socialist Party told the newspaper that “prolonging the term of the parliament for six months is useless as nothing is expected to change during this short period of time.”

Speaker Nabih Berri has continuously reiterated his rejection to extend parliament’s term.

Last year, the parliament voted to extend its own mandate for 17 months after the rival political parties failed to reach a new electoral law.

Around 100 MPs from all blocs, except the Change and Reform bloc, voted to extend parliament's term until November 20, 2014.



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