Hat Trick: Berri Compares Parliamentary Polls to Rabbit

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Speaker Nabih Berri has denied that he could make a magic trick to resolve the crisis on the parliamentary elections but compared the polls to the rabbit that would be pulled out of an empty hat.

“I think the parliamentary elections are the rabbit” that would come out of the magician’s hat, Berri said.

The polls “bring with them relief,” Berri said in response to a question on whether a rabbit would jump out of his hat any moment.

“They are an opportunity to overcome the obstacles amid the presidential deadlock,” the speaker told his visitors on Sunday. His remarks were published in local dailies on Monday.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since May over the failure of the rival MPs to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman.

The presidential crisis will be exacerbated by the likely failure to hold the parliamentary elections in November.

While most blocs are announcing the candidacies of their members, the parliament is expected to make a second extension of its term despite Berri’s rejection.

Zahle MP Nicolas Fattoush proposed in August a draft-law for the extension by more than two years, citing security reasons.

“It’s true that the situation in the country is not perfect but it’s definitely not worse than in Iraq when the parliamentary polls were held there,” the speaker said.

He reiterated that MPs should not hold onto their term as long as the parliament remains paralyzed.

Several blocs have been boycotting the sessions aimed at electing a president and others are also causing a lack of quorum at legislative meetings.

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