File - Future Movement figures smile at the Baabda Palace. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The parliamentary Future bloc implicitly called Tuesday on MP Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah to end their boycott so that Parliament can convene to elect a president and overcome the 7-month-old "dangerous presidential vacuum".The bloc also defended its dialogue with Hezbollah, stressing it should be accompanied by "practical steps" to reduce sectarian tensions in the country and restore the state's role in extending its authority and sovereignty over all Lebanese territory. Speaker Nabih Berri, meanwhile, said the Future-Hezbollah dialogue was aimed, among other things, at creating "a fertile ground" to benefit from any regional understanding, in a clear reference to a possible Saudi-Iranian rapprochement that would reflect positively on the presidential deadlock. The statement was apparently referring to lawmakers from Aoun's bloc and Hezbollah's bloc and its March 8 allies who have been blamed for thwarting a quorum for Parliament electoral sessions with their consistent boycott.The bloc's statement came a day after Berri called for a new Parliament session to elect a president on Jan. 7 amid signs that the session was destined to fail like the previous 17 abortive attempts as the rival March 8 and March 14 parties remain at odds over who should be a consensus candidate to fill the country's top Christian post.
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