Volume. 11893

Berri says would back early presidential election in Lebanon
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Lebanon99(1).jpgLebanon’s March 8 coalition would be willing to bring forward the presidential election in a bid to allay any concerns the March 14 alliance might have over the formation of the future government, Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Monday.
“In order to assure [March 14 groups] that our intentions are good, we do not mind holding the presidential election from now,” Berri told the local As-Safir newspaper.
“Subsequently, there will no problem over the formation of a [new] government,” Berri said, noting that the precedent had occurred in 1970 when President Suleiman Franjieh was elected a few months before the constitutional deadline for the presidential election.
Berri was responding to the March 14 coalition, which has accused the Hezbollah-led March 8 camp of seeking a vacuum in the government and the post of the presidency.
In comments to Al-Jadeed television Monday, Change and Reform bloc MP Alain Aoun said his party was still undecided on Berri's proposal to hold the election early.
“The bloc will discuss the matter tomorrow and will issue a decision on the matter,” he said.
President Michel Sleiman’s six-year-term ends on May 25. Lebanon enters a two-month constitutional period on March 25 to prepare for the election of the next head of state.
Sleiman says can’t keep delaying Cabinet formation
Meanwhile, Sleiman hinted Monday he could move ahead with the formation of a fait accompli Cabinet if a consensus over a new government is not reached soon, in a challenge to March 8 which insists on a national unity government.
“How long can a president keep on rejecting Cabinet formulas and how long can the delay go on?” Sleiman asked.
He spoke at the launch for the Chamber of Trade and Commerce in Beirut.
Sleiman hinted that non-political partisans should be given a chance to form the next government in the country.

(Source: The Daily Star)

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Last Updated on 06 January 2014 17:39