Berri to Allow for Consultations in Bid to Agree on New Law Ahead of Voting on Orthodox Proposal

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Speaker Nabih Berri has said that he would allow lawmakers to hold discussions during Wednesday's parliamentary session before calling for a vote on the so-called Orthodox Gathering proposal.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria daily published on Saturday, Berri hoped that the talks would lead to an agreement on a new vote law.

He said the assembly's meeting will last till May 18 and would even hold another session on Sunday May 19 if required.

When asked what step he would take if certain parliamentary blocs withdraw from the session when he calls for a vote on the Orthodox proposal, he said: “I will then take the appropriate decision.”

The plan, which considers Lebanon a single district and allows each sect to vote for its own MPs under a proportional representation system, has been approved by the joint parliamentary committees despite the rejection of al-Mustaqbal bloc, the National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat and the March 14 alliance's independent Christian lawmakers.

Berri rejected a technical extension of the parliament's mandate to September, saying he would exert all efforts during the session next week to garner a consensus on a new electoral law.

But if the rival MPs failed to reach an agreement on an alternative to the 1960 law that was used in the 2009 polls by September then there would be a deadlock, he said.

Meanwhile, al-Akhbar daily quoted informed sources as saying that Berri had expressed frustration at President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam's performance.

Berri, who is also the head of the Amal movement, has allegedly admonished them for overstepping him by seeking to form a cabinet without consulting him.

“Does PM-designate Salam want to name myy ministers without consulting me?” he wondered.

Berri reiterated his rejection of a fait accompli cabinet after reports emerged that Salam would announce a de facto government over the March 8 alliance's insistence to get veto power.

The Premier-designate has rejected granting veto power to any party.

Comments 3
Default-user-icon Samer (Guest) 11 May 2013, 09:26

When he is gonna die ...he is too old.....fake teeth...smells...

Default-user-icon zapata (Guest) 11 May 2013, 09:27

What a great country and what a bunsh of idiots living in it,,sad,,

Thumb dasphinx 11 May 2013, 14:46

If we applied to so-called Orthodox Proposal in our socio-professional lives, then we would:
- only hire people from the same sect
- only marry people from the same sect
- only be friends with people from the same sect
Is this the Lebanon they want? If so, I would lose half of my friends, half of my employees, and my wife. Shame on our politicians.