BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Security agencies advise against election: Machnouk

Lebanon's Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Beirut July 9, 2014. (Reuters)

BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk Monday said security agencies had advised against holding the parliamentary elections scheduled in November, in another sign that the poll will most likely be postponed again.

“Security agencies advised to postpone the poll in light of the critical security situation,” Machnouk said on his Twitter feed.

“The security reports I am receiving make me ethically bound from my position as a minister to shoulder my responsibility not to hold the parliamentary election on time.”

He said the political decision of whether to postpone was in the hands of Parliament and Cabinet.

Last year in March, lawmakers voted to extend their mandate for 17 months, citing security concerns, following months of futile talks on a draft electoral law to replace the current one – the so-called 1960 election law.

Since then, MPs have failed to resume discussions on a new law amid opposition by mainly Christian parties against holding the poll based on the current electoral law.

Several officials have hinted that the poll, scheduled in November, would be delayed in light of the deteriorating security in the country due to the raging conflict in neighboring Syria.

Speaker Nabih Berri has reportedly rejected the idea of extending Parliament’s mandate a second time, saying the priority remained to elect a new president and hold the election on time.

 

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