Berri to Hold Consultations on Vacuum Spillover to Parliament

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Speaker Nabih Berri, who returned from his private visit to Italy, is expected on Tuesday to revive the consultations on two parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a president and approving the public sector wage scale.

An Nahar newspaper said that the sessions are to be reminiscent of their predecessors.

The majority of the March 8 alliance's lawmakers will again boycott the session of the presidential elections that is scheduled to be held on June 9 over the failure to agree on a compromise candidate.

The June 10 session that is aimed at approving the draft-law on the pay raise will also not be held over lack of quorum caused by the boycott of the Christian lawmakers and al-Mustaqbal bloc MPs for refusing to legislate in the absence of a president in the country's top Christian post.

Parliament failed in several rounds to elect a new head of state, leaving a vacuum at Baabda Palace after the end of President Michel Suleiman's six-year term on May 25.

The vacuum spilled over into parliament last week when lawmakers boycotted the session set to discuss the controversial pay raise. The absence of a president is also threatened to paralyze the cabinet.

The boycott of the two sessions means that the parliament faces “total paralysis in the coming stage,” An Nahar said.

Berri's contacts will focus on the crisis and ways to resolve it, it added.



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