Connelly Warns Constitutional Council Crisis 'Undermines International Confidence'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly has reiterated that the Constitutional Council's failure to meet without the interference of Lebanon's political leaders undermines the confidence of the international community in the country.
“It is for the Constitutional Council and its members alone to rule on the matters before it, but what is most important is that the Council meets as required by law and that it considers the issues before it without political interference,” Connelly said in remarks at an entrepreneurship reception held at the embassy in Awkar on Thursday night.
“The inability to do so undermines international confidence in Lebanon and will have ramifications beyond the political arena,” she added.
Three judges - two Shiites and a Druze - boycotted a meeting of the Council for the second day in a row on Wednesday, depriving the 10-member body of the quorum needed to rule on petitions filed against the extension of parliament's mandate.
The meeting was aimed at discussing a report drafted by the Council's president, Judge Issam Suleiman, on the petitions filed by President Michel Suleiman and the Change and Reform bloc earlier this month to challenge the 17-month extension of parliament’s four-year term.
The absence of the three judges was a clear sign of political interference and an attempt by several officials to prevent the Council from issuing a decision on the petitions.
The lack of quorum would make the 17-month extension law valid after the end of parliament's mandate on June 20.
The embassy said on its twitter account on Wednesday that the boycott further erodes Lebanon’s democracy, and reflects lack of respect for Lebanon’s institutions and rule of law.
The council “should consider and rule on the challenges before it without political interference,” it said.