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Lebanon News

Berri denies linking Cabinet formation to vote law

From left, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Robert Ghanem attend a session at the Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: There is no truth to accusations the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition is linking the Cabinet formation to a new electoral law, Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Friday.

"This linkage is not accurate because any progress in the government [formation] helps in the birth of the elections law, and vice versa,” Berri told the local An-Nahar newspaper.

He also slammed the Future Movement-led March 14 alliance for describing Hezbollah’s recent stance as a new “maneuver” to turn Christians against each other over the electoral law.

"I refuse this type of analysis," Berri said.

Regarding the Cabinet formation process, the speaker said he received “positive signs” regarding Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam’s efforts to prepare a Cabinet lineup.

He also reiterated the need for Salam to stay in contact with the various political parties regarding the Cabinet’s structure.

The speaker described as “positive” a meeting Thursday of members of a parliamentary subcommittee which is struggling to draft a new electoral law to replace the current 1960 law.

March 8 and March 14 lawmakers decided to meet again next Tuesday after failing to make any breakthrough during the meeting, the second this week, to reach a consensus on a hybrid vote formula.

 

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