Berri sets Tuesday session for election of speaker and deputy

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday scheduled a Tuesday parliamentary session for the election of a new speaker, deputy speaker and the members of the Parliament Bureau, the National News Agency said.

The session will be held at 11am at parliament’s building in Beirut’s Nejmeh Square, NNA added.

Berri, 84, has held the position for the past 30 years and is running again for a seventh term. He is running uncontested seeing as all 27 Shiite seats in parliament have been won by his Amal Movement and its ally Hizbullah.

October 17 independents and the country’s main Christian parties have said they will not vote for Berri, risking his re-election with a much slimmer than usual majority.

The Free Patriotic Movement has hinted that it will not vote for Berri and it remains unclear whether it will allow some of its MPs to vote for the incumbent speaker.

Berri has however won the backing of the Progressive Socialist Party and some independents in recent days.

As for the deputy speaker post, three main candidates are competing – Ghassan Hasbani of the Lebanese Forces, Elias Bou Saab of the FPM and Melhem Khalaf of the October 17 bloc. MP Sajih Atiyeh of Akkar and MP Ghassan Skaff of West Bekaa have also been described as potential candidates.

Source: Naharnet

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