Berri Optimistic on End of Parliamentary Deadlock

Speaker Nabih Berri was on Sunday optimistic that the rival March 8 and 14 alliances would attend a legislative session to approve pending issues.

In remarks to An Nahar daily, Berri said: “There is a positive atmosphere.”

He said it would not take long before he calls for a parliamentary session. The speaker's invitation would be preceded by a meeting of the parliament's bureau aimed at agreeing on the agenda.

Berri expected the session to be held after Prime Minister Tammam Salam's return from New York, where he will represent Lebanon at the General Assembly session.

The priority will be to discuss the public sector wage scale, as well as issuing Eurobonds, tackling budget-related affairs and the rent law.

Such draft-laws require more than one session, Berri said.

March 14 lawmakers and members of the Change and Reform bloc from the March 8 coalition have been boycotting legislative sessions, arguing that the parliament should only convene for urgent issues amid the vacuum at Baabda Palace.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since May 25 when President Michel Suleiman's six-year term expired with MPs unable to agree on a successor.

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