MPs gather at Parliament to attend a presidential election session in Beirut, Thursday, May 22, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Christian parties plan to boycott Parliament sessions in response to a looming presidential vacuum as lawmakers failed Thursday for the fifth time in a row to pick a successor to President Michel Sleiman, three days before his six-year term expires.After Thursday's session failed to elect a president over lack of quorum, Speaker Nabih Berri said that he would call Parliament into session at any time that a consensus candidate was agreed upon or a quorum of MPs was reached."If any positive developments emerged, I will immediately call for an election session," Berri told The Daily Star. He said if new president was not elected a few days after the presidential vacuum, he would call for a regular Parliament session every 15 days. Apparently responding to Christian lawmakers who have threatened to boycott Parliament sessions in protest at a presidential vacuum, Berri said he rejected using the power vacuum as a pretext to disrupt Parliament's legislative role.Gemayel said last week his party would not attend Parliament sessions in the event of a presidential vacuum.
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