File - Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri drinks water as he heads a Parliament session in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Speaker Nabih Berri vowed Wednesday to call for a legislative session later this month to pass urgent draft laws, overriding opposition by key Christian blocs which argue that Parliament should not meet in the absence of a president.Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, also from Berri's bloc, underlined the need for resuming Parliament sessions to pass urgent bills, including the 2016 draft state budget.Berri is expected to urge rival leaders during the upcoming national dialogue session to agree on a new electoral law and the resumption of Parliament legislation and the revival of the government's work.The Kataeb Party bloc has refused to attend any Parliament session before the election of a president, while the other two main Christian parties, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces, have said they will attend only if a draft electoral law is at the top of the agenda. Frangieh's presidential bid is backed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Berri, MP Walid Jumblatt and some independent lawmakers.MP Ibrahim Kanaan from Aoun's Change and Reform parliamentary bloc said that lawmakers affiliated with the bloc will not attend any legislative session.The Cabinet is expected to broach the issue of State Security which has been listed on the agenda as promised by Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the last Cabinet session.
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