March 14 Officials Mulling United Stance on Parliamentary Polls

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The March 14 alliance’s officials have been holding meetings away from the media spotlight to come up with a united stance on the upcoming parliamentary elections, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

The newspaper quoted a March 14 source as saying that the majority of the coalition’s members have rejected another extension of parliament’s four-year mandate.

The legislature’s term was extended last year to November 2014 after lawmakers failed to agree on a new electoral draft-law.

Some officials have stressed during the discussions that the priority should focus on holding the presidential elections first, claiming that organizing parliamentary polls amid a vacuum at Baabda Palace would lead to complications.

If the polls were held by November and in the absence of a president, it would create a precedence for Lebanon.

The officials have raised questions as to who would hold the binding consultations with the new MPs to name a prime minister.

The constitution states that the president would hold such consultations to inquire the different parliamentary blocs on the name of the PM.

Lebanon’s top Christian post plunged in a vacuum in May when President Michel Suleiman’s six-year term expired.

The parliament failed to elect a successor over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances on a compromise candidate.

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