Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
07:02 PM Beirut time
22 °C
Blom Index
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Failure to elect new president destroys Lebanon: Berri
File - Speaker Nabih Berri speaks at his Ain el-Tineh residence in Beirut on Saturday, August 31, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
File - Speaker Nabih Berri speaks at his Ain el-Tineh residence in Beirut on Saturday, August 31, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri warned Tuesday that failure to elect a new president will destroy Lebanon given the already dangerous situation in light of a crippled government and Parliament.

“Presidential elections are more than necessary,” Berri said.

“All lawmakers must attend the session to elect a new president, even those traveling abroad,” he told the local Al-Joumhouria newspaper Tuesday.

Berri said MPs should not rely on a mere two-thirds vote “because in light of the [power] vacuum in government and a crippled Parliament, if we fail to elect a new president we would be slaughtering the country.”

On his part, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam ruled out a government formation in “the foreseeable future.”

“My mission becomes more difficult as we inch closer to presidential elections,” Salam told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published Tuesday.

He said he must choose between two bitter options: either resign or form a fait accompli government that may not please all the political parties and would fail to get a confidence vote.

A deepening political crisis has left the country without a functioning government for more than eight months, with a paralyzed Parliament that has been unable to meet for a lack of quorum due to political differences between March 8 and March 14 parties.

Although Salam has failed in his attempts to form a new Cabinet since he was named prime minister-designate in April, President Michel Sleiman said Monday there was a chance to form a government to oversee the presidential elections in May 2014.

He dismissed the possibility of forming a “fait accompli” government, one decided in the absence of consultation with political parties.

Sleiman, whose six-year-term in office expires on May 25, 2014, said he was confident a new head of state would be elected on time despite fears that Parliament might not be able to meet to choose a new president.

Salam attributed failure to form a new Cabinet to Hezbollah’s pompous conduct.

Without naming the Shiite party, Salam said “failure to form a government was the result of [Hezbollah’s] arrogant behavior with its [political opponents], stemming from the belief that they have emerged victorious in the Syrian war.”

Salam also called on Iran to “find a balance in its relations with the Arab countries.”

Berri, however, defended Hezbollah, saying the group has a primary role in fighting Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon, pointing to the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shuba hills

“[What about] Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shuba hills and our waters, aren’t these Lebanese?” Berri said.

“We don’t support the use of arms domestically, but there is a big difference between these [domestically-used] weapons and weapons of the resistance,” he stressed.

Home Lebanon News
Lebanon / Syria

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Friday April 18, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS