Hariri receives Berri and Derian for iftar at the Grand Serail in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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There is never a dull day in the electoral law debacle as the issue was further complicated Monday after Speaker Nabih Berri said that Parliament would press on with regular sessions beyond the end of the legislative period. During a rare news conference from his residence in Ain al-Tineh, Berri said Parliament could hold regular session beyond May 31 . The speaker's move seems to be aimed at President Michel Aoun's efforts to link any extraordinary session of Parliament solely to the approval of a new vote law. Citing jurisprudence by French Constitutional experts, Berri claimed that since Aoun had used his prerogative under Article 59 of the Constitution in April and delayed Parliament's session for a month, then that current legislative period would extend to make up the lost time.At the time of the delay, Aoun was attempting to head off a major political crisis as the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb Party staunchly opposed any extension of Parliament's mandate, the item which would have been put to vote had Parliament convened on April 15 .Aoun refrained from responding to Berri's media conference, as one source indicated that Parliament's extraordinary session is not actually the central issue at hand.
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