Amal supporters carry pictures of Speaker Nabih Berri as they burn a poster depicting Minister Gebran Bassil in Nabatieh, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Two separate gestures Tuesday by President Michel Aoun and his parliamentary bloc have fallen short of defusing mounting tensions with Speaker Nabih Berri, initially sparked off by a decree promoting a number of Army officers and exacerbated this week by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's offensive remarks against the speaker.While Berri has vowed not to convene any Parliament session to amend a new proportional vote law to govern the elections as demanded by Bassil, the Cabinet, which did not meet last week, is unlikely to meet again this week due to Prime Minister Saad Hariri's absence.Similarly, a statement issued by the FPM's parliamentary Change and Reform bloc following its weekly meeting, chaired by FPM leader Bassil, did not contain an apology by Bassil for a leaked video showing him calling Berri a "baltaji" or a "thug".Aoun's appeal to all sides to forgive each other was welcomed by the Change and Reform bloc, which declared that it considers the crisis with Berri to be over.
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