Berri Replies to Patriarch's Remarks on 'Package Deal'

Speaker Nabih Berri replied on Monday to Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, who has earlier criticized his “package deal” on the presidency, and said that his suggestion is “more constitutional than any other.”

“I will leave history to rule which was more constitutional, my package deal of ideas or your package deal of people (political candidates,)” Berri's press office said.

“I will let history rule which was more feasible. There is no need to target dignities,” added Berri.

On Sunday, al-Rahi blasted during a sermon calls for a so-called “package deal” that precedes the election of a president, noting that any candidate who accepts it has no “dignity.”

He said: “How can any presidential candidate who has dignity accept a prior package deal?”

Berri has recently proposed a deal involving shortening the term of parliament and that the elections be held based on the 1960 law should political forces fail to agree on a new electoral one.

He also called for staging the presidential elections after the parliamentary ones and forming a national unity government.

“If we don't agree on this package deal, especially on the electoral law, we would be crucifying any elected president,” the speaker said on Monday, ruling out the election of a president before such an agreement.

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