Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a session at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The presidential vacuum prevented Parliament legislation Tuesday as a Christian-led boycott forced the postponement of a session intended to discuss and approve the public sector's controversial salary scale bill in protest at the failure to elect a new president.Apparently responding to the boycotting lawmakers, Berri was quoted by visitors as saying: "Let them come to Parliament and not obstruct the work of institutions because these institutions are the best place for dialogue".He said he had set the Parliament session to elect a president on June 9 because he did not expect "tangible developments" concerning the presidential election. Christian parties and lawmakers have pledged to boycott Parliament sessions in the event of a presidential vacuum, saying the legislature's priority should be given to electing a successor to Sleiman, who left Baabda Palace last Saturday, a day before his six-year term expired.However, the demands by the Union Coordination Committee, which represents civil servants and public and private school teachers, have been sidelined by the presidential stalemate after lawmakers boycotted the Parliament session on the salary scale issue.
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