Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri chairs a session at Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Parliament is poised to extend its mandate before voting on the public sector's wage hike bill, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Tuesday after holding talks with Speaker Nabih Berri, sending the strongest signal yet that the extension has become a de facto matter.The Berri-Siniora meeting came shortly after lawmakers from the March 8 and March 14 blocs re-elected heads and members of 16 committees as well as members of Parliament's Secretariat during a 15-minute session. Lawmakers are expected to meet next week to discuss and approve a draft proposal presented by Zahle MP Nicolas Fattoush that calls for the extension of Parliament's term for two years and seven months to make it a full four-year mandate after lawmakers, citing security concerns, extended the House's term for 17 months in May 2013 .According to parliamentary sources, the Future officials argued that Parliament should approve the extension before discussing the wage hike bill.According to Rai, Hariri said he feared this would prompt an extension of Parliament's mandate to avoid a political vacuum.
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