Speaker Nabih Berri, center, chairs a national dialogue session at his residence in Ain al-Tineh, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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To no surprise, the last day of a marathon three-day national dialogue session yielded no breakthrough, as Lebanon remains very much in a state of political deadlock and institutional paralysis. In an apparent distraction, the political powers agreed on establishing a committee that would study the establishment of a senate, as stipulated in the Taif Accord. The presidential crisis continues, and no parliamentary electoral law was agreed upon. The statement added that workshops will be held to pave the way for the establishment of a senate.The Kataeb president reportedly opposed all discussion of the establishment of a senate, insisting that the presidential crisis should be a priority.Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan said the bulk of the session was dedicated to attempting to apply portions of the Taif Accord.Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad linked the establishment of the senate to the formation of a National Parliament elected outside of sectarian considerations.Marada Movement leader and presidential candidate Sleiman Frangieh did not attend the session.
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