Lebanon News

Gemayel: Presidential election top priority

Kataeb Party head Amine Gemayel speaks during a new conference in Saifi on Monday, May 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Kataeb Party leader Amine Gemayel reiterated Tuesday that Parliament could not legislate in light of a presidential void.

“The Lebanese Constitution is very clear, Parliament turns into an electoral body in the last 10 days before the end of a president’s term and not a legislative body,” Gemayel said speaking from Bkirki after meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai. “Once a new president is elected, the political, parliamentary and constitutional life will be organized, and then the urgent draft law will be discussed."

Gemayel said that the presidency was the “mother institution” that paved way for addressing other issues and insisted that all efforts should go toward the election of a new president.

He criticized lawmakers boycotting the parliamentary sessions to elect a new head of state, calling it “unethical in the sake of the Constitution, the nation and Parliament.”

Lebanon plunged into presidential void on May 25 when the six-year term of Michel Sleiman ended. The presidential crisis also affected the work of Parliament with the majority of Christian MPs and all the March 14 boycotting legislative activity until the election of a new president. A Parliament session to debate the controversial new salary scale for public servants scheduled for Tuesday failed to convene due to a lack of quorum.





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