Berri Describes 1st Round as 'Practice,' Says Next Session Aimed at Electing President

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Speaker Nabih Berri said the first round of the presidential elections was a “rehearsal,” adding that the parliamentary session next week would be aimed at electing the new head of state.

In remarks to As Safir daily published on Friday, Berri said: “The real session next week won't be a session (aimed at knowing) the candidates.”

“It would be the session of the president,” he said, hinting that the next head of state would be elected during the second round set to take place on Wednesday.

The first round was a “practice … and the results were already known. But we now move to the stage of the election of a president,” Berri told the newspaper.

Lawmakers must pick a replacement for President Michel Suleiman before his term expires at midnight May 24. He leaves Baabda Palace the next day.

On Wednesday, MPs failed to elect a president after no candidate secured the two-thirds of the votes needed to win and many lawmakers cast blank ballots and then left the parliament hall, leading to a lack of quorum.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who was backed by the March 14 alliance, received the votes of only 48 MPs.

Sixteen lawmakers voted for Aley MP Henri Helou, one for Kataeb party chief ex-President Amin Gemayel and 52 MPs, mainly March 8 alliance members, cast blank ballots.

During the second round next Wednesday, the winning candidate will need a simple majority of 65 votes.

Berri said that he would continue to call for parliamentary sessions until a president is elected.

Asked what he would do if there was lack of quorum again, he said: “I will call for a new session every half an hour.”

“The positive (aspect) of the (first) session on Wednesday was that it succeeded in showing the size of each side and it was clear that neither side was able” to succeed, he said.



Comments 13
Thumb general_puppet 25 April 2014, 08:23

Sweet little -karim-- as usual you misunderstood... what the Honorable Speaker meant was that the Iranian militia and its underlings needed a "Practice" run. That is why they had blank ballots, in the next run they will put X's on the ballots and eventually the Ayatollah will tell them who to nominate.

Thumb general_puppet 25 April 2014, 08:33

There will be a new Glorious Victory for the Axis of Resistance in the next Presidential round. El Generalissimo Aoun will personally attend and once all of the Clapping dies down he will snap his magic fingers and all of the MP's will proclaim him President for life... Meowwww

Thumb ex-fpm 25 April 2014, 08:38

g_P; you think the_roar will make a good president? Shame he does not speak arabic....LOL

Thumb general_puppet 25 April 2014, 08:57

ex-fpm... the-snore is fluent in jabberwocky and pompous drivel, I think he has a Master degree in both :-)

Thumb ibinherathreik 25 April 2014, 08:47

aya second session wa aya ballout. there will be no quorum and welcome to obstruction!

Thumb popeye 25 April 2014, 08:49

both are weak and pushovers and have no popular vote. At least Suleiman was the commander of the army. Whoever comes will not be the strong president that we aspire to have. Suleiman was a "consensus" president and when he finally took a stand and dared to criticize the terror party, he was rained on with their insults and propaganda.

Thumb general_puppet 25 April 2014, 09:10

Suleiman was looking out for Lebanon's interest. At the end when he spoke up against the Assad regime's attacks and against the militia's declaration of war in Syria, M8 attacked him with a vengeance.

Missing -karim-- 25 April 2014, 09:01

Practice? Ouch. That's pretty embarrassing for Samir bin Faisal bin Jaber bin Geagea.

Thumb -phoenix1 25 April 2014, 12:41

Oh Karim get off it will you? Even novices can detect the obstruction process now in the making, M8 will do all it can to obstruct the election of an m14 figure, till as it hopes, that an M8 one will come to get elected. Now you wonder why Aoun is keeping it so quiet?

Thumb -phoenix1 25 April 2014, 19:36

So said Mama Al Fanik Maarouf, and sadly there's not much you can do either.

Thumb jabal10452 25 April 2014, 15:10

Lebanese presidential elections are always theater due to all the machinations and horse-trading that happen behind the scenes. A good team would be Aoun as president and Hariri as PM. There would be balance. With this formula, inertia is a huge risk but I prefer slow and orderly progress than a fast, furious and deadly one. Yalla let's see what happens. But let's not get too hot and spill blood over this. We're in the same boat.

Default-user-icon Aounista (Guest) 26 April 2014, 01:54

Anyone you thinks Aoun is not the next president, like it or not, is delusional, out of this world, and dreaming....

Default-user-icon Aounista (Guest) 26 April 2014, 01:56

Whatever Aoun wants, Aoun gets...