Berri Says Fifth Round of Elections Open-Ended until May 25

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Speaker Nabih Berri said Thursday's parliamentary session to elect a new head of state will be open-ended until the expiry of President Michel Suleiman's term on May 25.

“The session will be open-ended until there is quorum,” Berri told lawmakers after he adjourned a legislative session on Wednesday aimed at discussing a plea made by Suleiman to resolve the presidential deadlock.

“I will call for a parliamentary session on the first day of vacuum if there is a vacancy in the president's post,” Berri told lawmakers at the start of the session.

“There is no need to specify certain dates for sessions because I am ready to invite (MPs) whenever I see that there would be quorum,” he said.

For his part, Suleiman hailed Berri and parliament for performing their constitutional role in discussing his message, stressing the need that lawmakers continue on attending parliament sessions until a president is elected.

He had urged lawmakers in his message last week to act in accordance with the Constitution to elect a new head of state.

He said the MPs should act in conformity with the laws to meet Constitutional deadlines “to avoid the dangers that could result from the failure to elect a president for the Lebanese Republic by May 25.”

There are fears that the vacuum in the country's top Christian post would affect Lebanon's power-sharing agreement under which the president should be a Maronite, the premier a Sunni and the speaker a Shiite.

Hizbullah and most of its allies in the March 8 alliance have been boycotting parliamentary sessions - four so far- aimed at electing a new president over claims that there should be a prior agreement on a candidate.

But Change and Reform bloc lawmakers attended Wednesday's session, resulting in a quorum of 65 MPs, the state-run National News Agency reported.

A fifth round of polls is set to take place on Thursday.

Ahead of Wednesday's session, Berri met with Prime Minister Tammam Salam, who briefed him on the results of his two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.

The speaker also held separate talks with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat and Education Minister Elias Bou Saab.



Comments 12
Thumb geha 21 May 2014, 12:36

President Suleiman:
for a long time our country had not been blessed with a good president of your caliber, and we thank you for your efforts and good work done during your tenure.

As for electing a new President, we are faced by an extremist Iranian occupying terrorist group and his affiliates like the fpm (sold out to iran), and that terrorist occupying force is rejecting the constitution and all the laws.
this terrorist group wants to keep its grip on the country dictating their will on the Lebanese people.
you are leaving the Presidency and we will fall into war with these terrorists, until they are eradicated.

there is no other choice.

Thumb -phoenix1 21 May 2014, 13:00

Suleiman is without doubt one of the very best presidents we had. Hezbollah remains without doubt the biggest impediment to the very existence of Lebanon. Yesterday I was joined by a few friends of the trade, since the day was dull, we drove around a few cities like Jbeil, Jounieh, Antelias, Jdeide and other parts of Beirut, yesterday as in today (and for sure tomorrow and the days after), the shopping streets were literally completely deserted, there was no commercial activity, most of the time all we saw were shop owners doing the 100 paces to and fro. Shops looked like dimmed, grey and drab. Sure, there were cars on the roads, but almost nothing moving in the business side of things. Is this the business community's last blow? By what we saw yesterday, it sure looks like a bad omen for Lebanon.

Thumb -phoenix1 21 May 2014, 14:57

Allfinik, I have a very sweet medication for your depression. It starts with reverting to your creator's name, know whom I'm talking about, two, talk of things that help the forum, three, even if we're into flies and mosquito season, many in this forum have installed wire mesh to their windows, and the best part is this, a Smiley is printed on it to tell them flies and squitoes that we now know the game, so we're smiling it through. And oh, again, your thumbing machine doesn't seem to work well today, why ka dineh?

Default-user-icon fatwa (Guest) 21 May 2014, 13:42

Back in 1993 hezballah sent a delegation to Teheran to see if they should run candidates for Lebanon's parliament, the Iranians gave them their blessing.

Thumb ado.australia 21 May 2014, 14:49

That's very informative...thanks fatwa. That's why they did not run any candidates in any election until after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000.

Default-user-icon fatwa (Guest) 21 May 2014, 15:46

Ado I'm sure you want that to be true with all your heart because you "feel" it's the truth. Alas as usual your information on Lebanese matter is false. Please for your sake and ours concentrate on the Aussie parliament you may have better luck there. One can just Google Hezbollah Lebanese parliament 1990s or just go read Naiim Qassem's book were he describes is details how the party sent a delegation to Iran to get the approval. There's even a Wikipedia listing on Hezbollah in the Lebanese Parliament, anyway you can at least tell everybody that you've tried.

Default-user-icon fatwa (Guest) 21 May 2014, 16:28

Mohammad Raad bio
"Raad is one of the leading figures of Hezbollah and the only member of the party to occupy his seat in Parliament (representing Nabatiyah) since 1992. "Here parraeels have a napkin wipe "it" of your face.

Default-user-icon fatwa (Guest) 21 May 2014, 16:37

Ado you should at least have the courtesy to post as ado.australia instead of using parraeels handle.

Thumb cedre 21 May 2014, 23:57

fatwa is right

Thumb freedomarch 22 May 2014, 01:16
Can't be happy n Iran! Jailed.

Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) 21 May 2014, 13:48

only history will judge president Suleiman
and we thank at present for all hios achievement if any
god bless the people of Lebanon

Default-user-icon saycheezz (Guest) 21 May 2014, 14:30

if he's done that from the first session we'd have a president by now.