Berri to Call for Parliamentary Session ahead of Thursday if Consensus Looms

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Speaker Nabih Berri expressed readiness to call for parliamentary session set to elect a new president ahead of Thursday if positive indications loomed regarding an agreement over the name of the candidate.

“I will also call for consecutive sessions after the constitutional deadline (to elect a new president) on May 25,” Berri told several local newspapers published on Monday.

Parliament has so far failed to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

Most of the March 8 camp’s MPs have boycotted four rounds of elections over their call for an agreement on a consensual president and their rejection of the candidacy of their foe Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.

A fifth round of polls is scheduled to be held next Thursday, two days before the expiry of Suleiman’s six-year tenure.

Asked about the meetings held in the French capital Paris between several Lebanese officials, Berri considered that “they are not enough to reach consensus.”

“Any accord between two sides will remain incomplete if the rest of the political parties didn’t agree on it,” the speaker said.

There are fears that the vacuum in the country’s top Christian post would affect Lebanon’s power-sharing agreement under which the president should be a Maronite, the premier a Sunni and the speaker a Shiite.

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