Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri stressed Monday that Lebanon’s salvation lies in the establishment of a “civil state.”
“There will be no solution nor salvation for Lebanon unless everyone shows the courage to seek a civil state. Lebanon’s salvation hinges on carrying out this constitutional surgery,” Berri said in a chat with reporters.
“If that is to be based on two main rules: preserving the constitution and the rights of religions and sects, then what is preventing us from making this move?” he asked.
Noting that “it would be wrong for someone to think that this is not the right time for such a proposal,” Berri said such a move “should have been made 20 years ago.”
“It is not a secret that the issue of the civil state had been raised around the dialogue table and that it enjoyed the approval of all parties, but back then a two-day period was given before two dialogue parties withdrew their approval for reasons unknown to me,” the Speaker recalled.
“All of this is in line with the constitution, especially Article 22, which stipulates the election of a national (nonsectarian) parliament and a senate representing all religious communities whose jurisdiction would be limited to critical issues,” Berri went on to say.