Berri to Revive Parliamentary Subcommittee for 'Intense' Talks on New Vote Law

Speaker Nabih Berri revealed on Wednesday that he would call for a parliamentary subcommittee to resume its meetings to agree on a new electoral law.

Several lawmakers who visited Berri during his weekly meetings said that the speaker had promised them to revive the subcommittee as “soon as possible” to find an alternative to the 1960 law within a certain timeframe.

He promised “intense” talks by subcommittee members to reach consensus on the new vote system.

The subcommittee's failure to agree on an electoral law was the main reason that led to the extension of parliament's four-year mandate.

The lawmakers extended their term for 17 months, pushing the legislative elections to November 2014.

The extension law becomes valid after midnight Thursday, when parliament’s current term expires.

The 10-member Constitutional Council, which had received petitions from President Michel Suleiman and the Change and Reform bloc, has failed to rule on the challenges over the boycott of three of its judges – two Shiites and one Druze.

The Shiite judges have been politically influenced by Berri and Hizbullah while the Druze member has boycotted the council meetings after the interference of Jumblat.

Both Berri and Jumblat have said it was not possible to hold the elections this year amid the deadly security incidents shaking the country.

Berri told the lawmakers on Wednesday that he would take more active steps towards helping Premier-designate Tammam Salam in forming the new government after the extension controversy comes to an end on Friday, the date the constitutional council is set to hold its last meeting to announce its failure to issue the ruling on the law.

The speaker expressed his concern over the efforts to "ignite strife," calling for "united measures to confront plots threatening the country."

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.