Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is seen in Ain al-Tineh in Beirut, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament Website, HO)
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Speaker Nabih Berri Sunday defended a boycott of Parliament meetings as "a democratic and constitutional right" adopted in world parliaments, on the eve of a session that is destined to fail to elect a president over a lack of quorum.Berri said members of his parliamentary bloc will attend the session as they have done previous sessions.He renewed his call on the three presidential candidates – Aoun, MP Sleiman Frangieh, and MP Henri Helou from MP Walid Jumblatt's bloc – to go to Parliament and the one who gets the biggest number of MPs' votes will be declared the winner. Although Rai did not name the blocs preventing the presidential vote, the Future Movement and its March 14 allies have repeatedly accused Aoun's bloc and Hezbollah's bloc of thwarting a quorum by consistently boycotting the electoral sessions.MP Ibrahim Kanaan from the FPM said Aoun has become the only presidential nominee whose candidacy comes in line with the National Pact following the Maarab agreement, a reference to the Geagea-Aoun reconciliation during which the LF chief endorsed the FPM founder's candidacy for the presidency.
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