Bou Saad Says FPM Not Impeding Parliamentary Polls, Lashes Out at Critics

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Education Minister Elias Bou Saab stressed on Monday that the Free Patriotic Movement is seeking to facilitate the staging of the parliamentary elections, revealing that he will run in the polls.

“We reject the extension of the legislature’s term,” Bou Saab said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

He lashed out at critics who are accusing the FPM of delaying the formation of the committee that will oversee the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Bou Saab, who is affiliated to the FPM, said that the committee should have been formed since August 8.

“Two more days of delay will not impact the staging of the elections.”

Bou Saab had rejected the names of Christian members in the committee during last week’s cabinet session, without giving substitutes, thus delaying the publishing of the decree on appointment of members of the committee in the official gazette.

“We have our reservations.”

He pointed out that the cabinet granted him until Friday morning to suggest a substitute for the name that the FPM rejects. “I informed Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq about the name, but I am still waiting for an answer.”

“We are not impeding the elections.”

Last week, the cabinet appointed the members of the committee that will oversee the upcoming parliamentary elections, naming ex-judge Nadim Abdul Malak as its head.

A total of 162 candidates have so far submitted their nominations for the polls as the deadline for the submissions looms on midnight on Tuesday.

Several officials have expressed their doubts that the elections will be held given the ongoing disputes over an electoral law, the vacuum in the presidency, and the tense security situation.

Last year, the rival MPs extended their tenure until November 2014 after they failed to agree on a new electoral draft-law.

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