Report: Suleiman Opposes Extending Parliament's Term for More than Four Months

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President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri are likely to disagree on the extension of the current parliament's term given the political parties' failure to reach an agreement over a new electoral law, reported al-Akhbar newspaper Saturday.

Suleiman's circles said that the president reportedly opposes extending the term for more than four months.

This extension “must be technical and linked to the staging the elections,” they said.

Berri meanwhile opposes the four-month extension because it violates regulations that say that the extension of parliament will entail the extension of the term of all other institutions, including his term as speaker.

Constitutional regulations stipulate that should his term be extended, it should be for no less than two years, explained al-Akhbar.

Prominent parliamentary and political sources meanwhile revealed to the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat Saturday that discussions on Thursday and Friday had addressed a proposal by the March 8 camp to extend parliament's term for two years.

Another proposal calls for extending its term for three months in order to stage the elections based on the amended version of the 1960 law that was adopted in the 2009 elections.

The sources revealed that the proposal was made on the margins of the electoral subcommittee meetings that were held over the past few days, saying that Berri himself had made such a suggestion.

Al-Hayat noted that this the first time that the proposal to hold the elections based on the 1960 law was made by members of the March 8 camp after various rival political parties had almost unanimously rejected it.

Reports have emerged that the current parliament's term may be extended given the failure to reach an agreement over an electoral law to stage the parliamentary elections that are scheduled for June 16.

Earlier this week, the electoral subcommittee resumed its meetings, under Berri's sponsorship, in order to reach an agreement over a new vote law amid ongoing disputes between the rival blocs.

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