Hariri Walks Out of Parliament after Verbal Clash with Gemayel

Prime Minister Saad Hariri walked out Friday of a parliamentary session dedicated to discussing and passing the new electoral law after a verbal clash with Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel.

The heated debate erupted after Gemayel accused the government of approving an 11-month extension of parliament's term in order to have enough time to “offer electoral bribes.”

At that point Hariri interrupted Gemayel, insisting that “this is not what the government is doing.”

“Do not interrupt me, let me finish my remarks,” Gemayel responded.

The exchange prompted Hariri to leave the parliament hall but he eventually returned after Gemayel finished his statement.

Speaker Nabih Berri later asked that Gemayel's remarks be omitted from the session's minutes of meeting, prompting the young lawmaker to say, “You can delete this phrase but no one can prevent us from saying what we want to say.”

The electoral law was later approved by parliament amid the objections of the Kataeb Party, MP Butros Harb, MP Assem Qansou and other lawmakers.

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