Berri Denies Dispute with Suleiman over Presidential Electionsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Speaker Nabih Berri ruled out on Monday reports saying that there is a dispute between him and President Michel Suleiman, describing the relations as “normal.”
“History repeats itself as the situation we're witnessing today is similar to the one we lived in 2007 with some simple differences,” Berri told local newspapers.
He denied receiving any letter from Suleiman demanding the extension of his tenure.
Suleiman’s tenure ends in May 2014, but the constitutional period to elect a new head of state begins on March 25, two months prior to the expiration of Suleiman’s mandate.
“I haven't received any letter from the president in this regard and no one has discussed with me the matter,” Berri said.
In September, Suleiman said that he would challenge the extension of his mandate if the parliament took such a move amid soaring political tensions and the failure to form a new government.
The speaker pointed out that discussing the Presidential elections should be after March 25.
Berri expressed surprise over reports saying that he is engaged in a campaign against the president, saying: “The ties are normal with the president, there are no disputes between us. I have contacted him before he headed to Paris to check on his health.”
Suleiman traveled to France on Sunday in order to receive to follow up on medical treatment on his left eyelid.
The president is scheduled to return to Lebanon on Tuesday.
Asked about reports saying that head of al-Mustaqbal movement Saad Hariri will return to Lebanon soon, Berri lauded the move, saying that “there is no problem if everyone was present in the country.”
The Saudi daily al-Riyadh reported on Sunday that ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri may make an appearance at the trial to issue a testimony in the assassination of his father, former PM Rafik Hariri, on February 14, 2005.
The trial kicks off at The Hague on January 16, 2014.