Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 25 APR 2014
12:36 AM Beirut time
22 °C
Blom Index
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Berri, Aoun bitterly divided over poll law
FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during a press conference in Rabieh, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (The Daily Star/Charbel Nakhoul, HO)
FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during a press conference in Rabieh, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (The Daily Star/Charbel Nakhoul, HO)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Tension is simmering between Speaker Nabih Berri and Change and Reform bloc leader Michel Aoun as a result of differences on the choice of a new electoral law. According to Change and Reform bloc sources, during his Monday meeting with March 8’s Christians and Hezbollah, Aoun told the Hezbollah delegation that he believed Berri was conspiring with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt and President Michel Sleiman to block a vote on the Orthodox Gathering’s draft electoral law.

Aoun, who wants Berri to take a clear stance on the law, asked Hezbollah for a definitive answer from the speaker about whether he plans to convene Parliament for a vote on the Orthodox proposal.

A Monday evening meeting between representatives of Amal and Hezbollah was inconclusive. Amal’s Mohammad Baalbaki and Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil discussed the issue with Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s aides Wafiq Safa and Hussein Khalil. Hezbollah told Aoun talks were ongoing.

The sources said Aoun planned to go on the attack in his regular Tuesday appearance following the Change and Reform bloc meeting, and will focus his ire on Jumblatt and Sleiman.

Aoun will continue to insist that elections are held under a new law, while the sources noted that his allies – including Hezbollah – place less importance on timely polls.

While Aoun is confident that the Kataeb supports the Orthodox draft, he is less certain of the Lebanese Forces and believes a vote in Parliament would force MPs to publically announce their positions at the risk of embarrassment in front of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai and other Christians.

The sources continued that Rai, the Christian parties, Hezbollah, and Amal had agreed to block any attempt to hold elections under the 1960 law.

As for the post of prime minister, Aoun has said he would only vote to renominate Mikati if he received concessions. However, the sources said the FPM leader would back Mikati if he believes March 14 had a chance of forming a Cabinet with its candidate.

According to the Change and Reform bloc sources, March 8 has solid information that former Prime Minister Saad Hariri opposes the choice of Mikati as prime minister, as well as any figure from Beirut.

This has led to the exclusion of several names from talks, including Lebanon’s Ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam. There is a possibility that Hariri will suggest his aunt, Sidon MP Bahia Hariri for the post, and the sources add that Sleiman and Hariri were in continuous contact about the current political situation.

If the Future Movement refuses to renominate Mikati, the sources note Jumblatt may choose not to name a candidate for prime minister. For his part, Mikati could insist on securing 65 votes of support in Parliament if he is to accept the job.

The same sources did not rule out the possibility that a prime minister who is not able to form a government is selected, necessitating an extension of Parliament’s mandate.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 02, 2013, on page 3.
Home Lebanon News

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Hasan Lakkis
March 8 blank ballots set to spoil first vote
Bill of fire delay triggers anger, strike
Key questions unanswered in wage hike bill
Banks strike over tax hike proposal
Lawmakers make strides to fund wage hike

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 24, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS