Makari Expects Parliament's Term to Be Extended for Six Months

Deputy Speaker Farid Makari doubted that parliament will succeed in reaching an agreement over a new parliamentary electoral law during its upcoming session on Wednesday, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.

He told the daily that the failure will prompt the extension of the current parliament's term for six months.

“Extending the term is a better way of telling the people that an agreement has not been reached over a new vote law,” he explained.

The term could be extended for another six months if an agreement is still not reached, he added.

He linked these issues to the current developments in the region.

Speaker Nabih Berri called parliament to convene on Wednesday in order to adopt a new electoral law.

He had stated that he would allow lawmakers to hold discussions before calling for a vote on the so-called Orthodox Gathering proposal, media reports said Saturday.

He added that the assembly's meeting will last till May 18 and would even hold another session on May 19 if required.

The plan, which considers Lebanon a single district and allows each sect to vote for its own MPs under a proportional representation system, has been approved by the joint parliamentary committees despite the rejection of President Michel Suleiman, caretaker Premier Najib Miqati, the Mustaqbal bloc, the National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat and the March 14 alliance's independent Christian lawmakers.

Berri rejected a technical extension of the parliament's mandate to September, saying he would exert all efforts during Wednesday's session to garner a consensus on a new electoral law.

The political parties' failure to agree on a new vote law is threatening to postpone the elections that are scheduled for June 16.

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