BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri has submitted his own nomination for the parliamentary election scheduled in November, defying talk of another extension to Parliament’s mandate.
"The speaker left Lebanon on a personal trip after he submitted his nomination for the parliamentary election," his office said in a statement Thursday.
Lawmakers from Berri's Development and Liberation bloc have submitted their nominations for the poll despite repeated talk of a possible delay due to security concerns and the presidential vacuum in the country.
The speaker, who has held the post since first being elected in 1992, has rejected postponing the election for a second time, arguing that the delay would be futile if MPs continued boycotting legislative sessions.
Last month, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk issued a notice detailing the documents required for those intending to submit their candidacies for the hotly debated parliamentary elections, currently scheduled for Nov. 16. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 16 at 11:59 p.m.
Parliament extended its term for 17 months in May 2013, citing the deteriorating security situation, but many viewed the failure of political factions to agree on a new election law as the primary obstacle.
The Future Movement opposes holding parliamentary elections before the election of a new president. There has been a presidential vacuum in Lebanon since May 25, the date when former President Michel Sleiman’s term expired.