Aoun Suspends Parliament for One Month under Article 59 of Constitution

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President Michel Aoun used his presidential powers on Wednesday to suspend parliament's activities for one month, which consequently led to Speaker Nabih Berri's postponement of a controversial legislative session aimed at extending parliament's term.

“I have decided to suspend parliament's activities for one month in line with Article 59 of the Lebanese constitution,” Aoun said in a televised address to the nation.

It is the first time ever in Lebanon's history that a Lebanese president resorts to this article, according to media reports.

“Upon my election as president, I performed the oath of office, vowing loyalty to the constitution of the Lebanese nation and its laws and to preserve Lebanon's independence, unity and territorial integrity,” Aoun said.

“The Document of National Accord, which has become an inseparable part of the Lebanese constitution, stipulates that the parliamentary elections should take place according to a new electoral law,” he added.

The president also reminded that in his oath of office, he had vowed to “work on correcting the political representation of the Lebanese people according to the aforementioned constitutional principles.”

Aoun's move follows marathon political talks led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Media reports said the president's move was coordinated in advance with Berri and Hizbullah.

“After the president used Article 59 of the constitution which gives him the right to suspend parliament's convention for a period not exceeding one month, I once again consider that this step by the president is aimed at securing more time that can be utilized to reach an agreement on a new law,” Berri said in a statement, reminding Aoun that he had always called for an electoral law based on proportional representation.

“In turn, and in line with his stance, I'm postponing tomorrow's session to May 15,” Berri added.

He also hoped that the parties will agree on a new electoral law during the coming period “to allow for a technical extension that would steer us clear from lethal vacuum that would lead Lebanon into certain suicide.”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi called Berri after the statement to “congratulate him on his stance,” the National News Agency said.

The Parliament Bureau had called for a Thursday legislative session that had a one-year extension of parliament's term on its agenda, which angered the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces who called for street protests and vowed to boycott the session.

The Kataeb Party was also expected to boycott the session and to take part in street protests together with several civil society groups.

Hizbullah and its allies have repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation amid reservations by al-Mustaqbal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party, and most recently the LF.

But Mustaqbal's leader, PM Saad Hariri, has recently announced that he is willing to accept full proportional representation.

FPM chief Jebran Bassil and LF leader Samir Geagea have meanwhile called for a hybrid electoral system that mixes proportional representation with the winner-takes-all system, arguing that it grants Christians better representation.

Comments 33
Missing humble 12 April 2017, 20:32

Great and very positive move....?????

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 April 2017, 22:17

"The Parliament Bureau had called for a Thursday legislative session that had a one-year extension of parliament's term on its agenda"

By exercising his constitutional powers, President Aoun prevented another hijacking of the Lebanese people's right to vote. Hat's off General!

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 April 2017, 22:20

Now they better use that month to agree on an electoral law, because we've had enough of that maskhara!

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 April 2017, 23:18

No I dont want to bet because the only thing we know here is that you never know what's going to happen...
Nothing is guaranteed here, but dont forget the parliament already extended itself TWICE! Okay the first time was unavoidable, the second was still in a very tense period but at some point we need to draw the line! Or else next year we'll hear the same thing again, "what another year after this?" w ba3den???

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 April 2017, 23:38

So you're basically saying that because it's been stuck for years, let's just give up and accept that they're going to keep on screwing the people's right?

If they can't decide in one month and you just accept it, then what makes you think they would succeed in one year? If we let them, they'll keep on doing the same thing year after year while we discuss if it's the bigger or lesser evil. Enough is enough, I dont want the lesser evil, I want what's right, I want our rights to be respected.

Thumb _mowaten_ 13 April 2017, 00:49

Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it, but I chose to be optimistic and not give up on rightful demands.
And yes the presidency void lasted 2.5 years, but the parliament joke has been going on for way longer (last elections were in 2009!!)
Plus it seems we're narrowing down on the solution, at this point it's down to two options that are not so far from each other: full proportional for hezbollah, amal, mustaqbal and hybrid proportional for LF and FPM.
a compromise can easily be found if there is a will and if the people wills it

Missing humble 12 April 2017, 20:32

Great and very positive move....?????

Thumb flamethrower-_ 12 April 2017, 21:06

Second best president ever!
(best president ever already taken)

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 April 2017, 22:14

lol you wouldn't know a real president if he slapped you across the face with article 59

Thumb EagleDawn 12 April 2017, 22:47

lol @mowateh
get a life, if his comment is not to your liking then dont read it, or answer it. sitting on the side and whining wont get you anyone's sympathy.

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 April 2017, 23:20

lol, pathetic trolls

Thumb enterprise 13 April 2017, 01:05

_mowaten_ 3 hours ago
lol you wouldn't know a real president if he slapped you across the face with article 59

then the heretic says :

_mowaten_ 1 hour ago
lol, pathetic trolls

Thumb ___flamethrower___ 13 April 2017, 11:31

lulz @ your point is @flamependerz

Thumb justin 13 April 2017, 13:25

lol @hajibaba

his point is a troll cannot accuse others of trolling.

Thumb ado.australia 13 April 2017, 17:35

Michel Sleiman? LOL... Michel Sleiman is amongst Bashir Gemayel and Fouad Chenab? You are joking or trolling! President Michel Sleiman is similar to Presidents Lahoud or Hrawi (who questioned if Lebanon should have Thursday and Friday as weekends), while President Aoun is a patriot, protector of our rights and culture! We are Lebanese!! Not Arab Bedouins! Our ancestors did not live in tents, we do not SPEAK Arabic... we speak Lebanese! We eat lebanese food and we respect our fellow lebanese neighbors and their different religions! Our ancestors were Pheonicians! The greatest civilization in the western/Mediterranean world! Inventors of the alphabet and conquerors of the seas! Believe it or deny the truth! Why some people wish to follow Bedouins is lost to me!

Thumb barrymore 13 April 2017, 18:02

lol @ado

Missing mohammad_ca 12 April 2017, 21:56

We are headed into darker times

Thumb justin 12 April 2017, 22:40

القيادي في التيار العوني رولان خوري رئيساً لكازينو لبنان والمجتمع المدني يعدّ شكوىالقيادي-في-التيار-العوني-رولان-خوري-رئيسا-لكازينو-لبنان-والمجتمع-المدني-يعد-شكوى

and the fight against corruption and nepotism continues...:)

Thumb ___flamethrower___ 12 April 2017, 22:50


Thumb ___flamethrower___ 12 April 2017, 22:49

lulz @flame the speaker

Missing peace007 12 April 2017, 23:31

President is doing what he can under the circumstances. Let's just hope they can agree on something.

Missing peace007 13 April 2017, 00:08

It's funny how people get labeled Shia if you don't like there comment. Pretty sad. I understand your cynicism guys. The track record of the govt. stinks but I refuse to lose hope. What's the alternative? Conflict? That serves nobody and makes things much worse than today.

Thumb _mowaten_ 13 April 2017, 00:51

ignore the trolls, they often exposed themselves as israeli propaganda agents trying to incite sectarian tensions.

Thumb enterprise 13 April 2017, 01:13

absolutely ya heretic. I found this on below article:

Rifi Criticizes 'Hizbullah's Armed Appearance' in Dahiyeh

peace007 01 April 2017, 18:19
Rifi is a secterian troublemaker.

peace007 must be one of those israeli agents trying to incite sectarian hatred.

Thumb ex-fpm 13 April 2017, 09:19

it is even funnier when you label people zionists and israeli propaganda agents when you and your likes do not like their comments.

Thumb 13 April 2017, 00:19

Il va faire grève de la faim jusqu'à ce qu'il crève à la fin ?

Missing peace007 13 April 2017, 04:16

Enterprise- I don't like Rifi and the way acts towards other Lebanese. So what? He speaks in a way that divides in my opinion. That's not what we need.

Thumb EagleDawn 13 April 2017, 07:41

That type of language gets us nowhere. Time to work together for the sake of the ordinary citizen.

btw, get used to his existence. He's Lebanese just like the rest of us.

Missing peace007 13 April 2017, 04:18

I'm an Israeli agent because I don't like Rifi? Haha. That's funny.

Thumb ___flamethrower___ 13 April 2017, 11:32


Thumb thepatriot 13 April 2017, 04:19

Honestly, it was the best thing to do. The only thing to do. Extend those thugs is out of a question!

Missing peace 13 April 2017, 11:01

but the same thugs will be in the parliament...they will be reelected...

funny to see people here so anxious to have new electoral law bla bla bla... whetever the law , whatever the parliament, the situation will not change. when there is a majority, the opposition blocks the parliament or resigns from the gvt or blocks the gvt to impose their law or avoid a law to be passed... they all whine to be all represented in the gvt so what are elections for, tell me? LOL just need to appoint them as even with elections they will all impose the presence of the opposition in decision making! a law against hezbis? hezbis take the streets! a law against mostaqbal interest? they will block ! this country is ungovernable today... divide to conquer is lebanese politicians

Thumb thepatriot 16 April 2017, 01:04

Well they will have been given mandate by the people. The actual parliament's mendate expired!