BEIRUT: The boycott of Parliament could affect the Cabinet, turning it into a caretaker government, Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted as saying by visitors.
“Boycotting Parliament would lead to dangerous repercussions because it obstructs the monitoring power [to Cabinet’s activities] that Parliament practices, which turns the government into a caretaker one,” Berri told visitors, according to a report published by An-Nahar daily Wednesday.
The speaker said he would continue to call for parliamentary sessions despite a boycott by Christian lawmakers who argue Parliament cannot legislate in the wake of presidential void.
“I am not convinced by what some are saying, that they will attend for a certain reason and will boycott for another,” the speaker said.
“Another team said it would attend session when necessary and if an agreement over the salary scale is reached outside Parliament,” he added.
“The concept of necessity can vary between one group and another, everyone sees things from their own perspective, while legislative activity should persist in all cases.”
Berri’s comments come a day after Christian lawmakers and March 14 MPs boycotted a session to discuss the wage scale in protest at the failure to elect a new president.
The speaker hoped that the rival groups would reach “a certain agreement” on a presidential candidate before June 9, the date of the next Parliament session to elect a new head of state.
“No one can hold the elections alone, there must be a consensus by both sides and experience has proved what I am saying,” the speaker said, in reference to the March 8 and March 14 rival coalitions.
“The presidential election remains a priority for me, that is why I set its date prior to the date of the session over the salary scale,” he said.
Lebanon entered a presidential void on May 25, when the six-year-term of former President Michel Sleiman ended and lawmakers failed in consecutive sessions to elect a successor.