March 14 MPs chat inside Parliament during a session to elect a president Wednesday, Oct.19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Parliament will vote next week on a bill that would extend its mandate by over two years, Speaker Nabih Berri said Wednesday, shortly after the legislature failed again to elect a new president.The bill, presented by MP Nicolas Fattoush, proposes to extend Parliament's term by two years and seven months.The major Christian parties, including the Free Patriotic Movement, the Kataeb Party and the Lebanese Forces, have spoken out against the extension, but their members are unlikely to boycott the extension session, sources told The Daily Star.Berri had initially opposed any extension, but announced last week that he had become convinced of necessity for the move after the Future Movement said it would boycott parliamentary elections, scheduled for Nov. 16, in the absence of a president.Parliament last year voted to extend its mandate by 17 months, with political factions arguing that the country's fragile security situation prevented elections.Geagea also criticized the proposed extension of Parliament's mandate, saying it was the "greatest current fraud operation".
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