Speaker Nabih Berri has stressed that he would call for a parliamentary session to elect a new head of state as soon as the rival parties strike a deal to resolve the deadlock, saying Lebanon is currently adopting a “wait-and-see” approach.
Berri told officials who visited him over the weekend that he would set a date for a session the minute there is an agreement among the different parliamentary blocs.
Several rounds of electoral sessions have been adjourned over lack of quorum caused by the boycott of the majority of the March 8 alliance’s lawmakers.
The speaker expressed regret over the “lack of signs” on the possibility to elect a new head of state.
“I can set a session every five minutes. But would this resolve the problem?” he asked.
His remarks, which were published in local dailies on Monday, came in response to a call by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi to “hold daily parliamentary sessions to stage the presidential elections to end the vacuum” at Baabda Palace.
“The sessions have become obligatory in accordance with the constitution,” the cardinal said in his Sunday sermon.
President Michel Suleiman’s six-year term ended on May 25, leaving the country’s top Christian post vacant.
On the country’s crises in general, Berri said: “We the Lebanese can’t resolve our problems by ourselves. We have failed in doing so.”
He revealed that he withdrew a plan to meet with the heads of parliamentary blocs to discuss the presidential deadlock and the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“I changed my idea after realizing that we are adopting a wait-and-see approach,” the speaker, who is also the head of AMAL movement, told his visitors.