Constitutional Council Put to Test over Decision on Parliament Mandate Extension

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The Constitutional Council is expected to take its decision regarding the challenges made by President Michel Suleiman and the Free Patriotic Movement on the 17-month extension of parliament's mandate during the upcoming week utmost.

According to An Nahar newspaper the council will has to hold a meeting during two or three days farthermost to announce its decision over the challenges after its head Issam Suleiman completed his report.

The newspaper reported that sharp division is likely to be looming if the the 10-member council failed to convene.

FPM lawmaker Alain Aoun, a member of MP Michel Aoun's Change and Reform Bloc, said in comments published in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that the Constitutional Council has two choices, “either to assume its responsibility and avert the deadlock and save democracy or kill its credibility and essence of its presence.”

The council's by-laws call for holding a meeting for the body's members five days after being handed over the report.

The parliament extended its four-year mandate last month after the rival parties failed to agree on a new electoral law.

The extension delayed the polls until November 2014. But President Suleiman and the Change and Reform bloc filed separate challenges with the Constitutional Council.

MP Aoun said that the stance of the FPM regarding the extension doesn't have an impact on the March 8 alliance.

“We have different estimations and priorities... Contacts are ongoing... Our different points of view indicate that there is no subordination in our alliance,” the MP said.

Aoun hailed President Suleiman's stance concerning the 17-month extension.

“We have met at a junction... This is an honorable decision taken by the president,” the FPM lawmaker added.

Aoun expressed fear that some parties might exert pressure on the Constitutional Council to force it to reject the challenges.

Comments 2
Thumb chrisrushlau 09 June 2013, 18:56

Taef gave Christians and Muslims equal numbers of seats in Parliament despite the massive disparity in actual demograhics, perhaps three to one.
This Constitutional Council is one more element in the camouflage, along with the President-Prime-Minister-Speaker arrangement, for the racism of the current Lebanese regime. No wonder it is unstable, and prone to foreign manipulation.

Missing peace 09 June 2013, 19:40

secularism is stated in taef as in the constitution.... does that make aoun apply the constitution for that matter? has he ask the council to put an end to sectarianism as stipulated in the constitution? is the orthodox law constitutionnal therefore? LOL
aoun loves the constitution when it suits him but ignores it when it suits him too...

oh! and before any remarks, M14 has not applied the secularism part of taef too neither asked for it!
they all roll for their own interests, so those believing his leader is the best and most fair one makes me really laugh!