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Lebanon’s Opposition Pushes for Early Elections

Lebanon’s Opposition Pushes for Early Elections

Tuesday, 11 August, 2020 - 10:00
A demonstrator waves a flag on the Martyrs' Monument at Martyrs' Square ahead of a protest following Tuesday's blast, in Beirut, Lebanon August 9, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Lebanon’s opposition forces are holding intensive discussions to push for shortening the parliament’s term, organizing early parliamentary elections and forming a neutral government.

In this context, a delegation from the Democratic Gathering bloc, headed by MP Taymour Jumblatt, conducted visits on Monday to Speaker Nabih Berri and the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea. The delegation also reportedly communicated with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

In remarks following the meeting, Geagea said: “We are hours away from a major step, and the government’s resignation will not change anything.” He also called for “early parliamentary elections based on the current electoral law.”

“We listened to the (Democratic Gathering) delegation, and things are moving at a rapid pace; we will hear good news in the next few hours on these bad days,” Geagea added.

For his part, MP Akram Chehayeb called for early parliamentary elections to bring about a new authority in the country.

“The country is kidnapped and has become a hostage of the regional axes… It can no longer bear the consequences of an authority that is linked to a specific axis,” he said following the meeting with the LF leader.

Chehayeb noted that the delegation agreed with Geagea on many points, adding that they would communicate with Hariri in the hope of reaching a position that would pave the way for early parliamentary elections.

During the meeting with Berri, Taymour Jumblatt called for an international investigation to uncover the circumstances of the Beirut explosion.

“We do not trust the local investigation. We demand the end of the government of death and starvation and the formation of a neutral cabinet. We also demand that the parliament’s term be shortened and a non-sectarian law be adopted to allow the youth in the squares to reach parliament,” he stated.

“After decades of wars, death and devastation, the Lebanese have the right to live in dignity and safety in their country,” Jumblatt concluded.

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