Berri: I Will Call for Legislative Session if FPM Agrees to Attend

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Speaker Nabih Berri revealed that lawmakers from the Free Patriotic Movement had discussed with him on Wednesday the agenda of a legislative session and their aim to include a number of draft-laws to it, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Friday.

He stated that he would call for such a session if the FPM agrees to take part in it.

Its participation will ensure its legality in spite of the boycott of the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb blocs, said he daily.

In addition, the speaker explained that parliament can convene to elect a president without being in an ordinary or in an extraordinary session seeing as the country is witnessing a vacuum in the post.

He remarked that he can call for such a session if there was an agreement over the political blocs over the election of a head of state.

Vacuum striking the presidential post is having a tough impact on the cabinet and the parliament as the state is threatened with further crises over ongoing rows between the rival parties.

Berri is seeking to call for a session to approve urgent issues, including the wage scale for the public sector and the food safety draft-law, but Christian parliamentary blocs have announced their boycott of the meeting.

Parliament convenes twice a year in two ordinary sessions -- the first starts mid-March until the end of May and the second from the middle of October through the end of December.

MPs failed on several occasions to elect a new head of state over lack of quorum. President Michel Suleiman's term ended in May without the election of a successor.


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