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Berri Rejects to Engage in ‘Bargains’ in Exchange for His Re-election as Lebanon’s Speaker

Berri Rejects to Engage in ‘Bargains’ in Exchange for His Re-election as Lebanon’s Speaker

Saturday, 28 May, 2022 - 09:15
Speaker Nabih Berri (AFP)

Outgoing Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the eldest MP in the new parliament, has called for a parliamentary session on Tuesday to elect the speaker, the deputy speaker and the members of the speaker’s office, to pave the way for the formation of a new government.

According to well-informed sources, Berri has called for the session, regardless of the number of deputies who will vote in his favor, in order to reject claims that his non-election would hinder the formation of a new government.

According to the sources, Berri was keen to call for holding the session within the constitutional deadlines, because he would not allow suspending the parliamentary process until he secures his re-election by a majority of 65 deputies, i.e. half the number of Parliament members plus one.

If the parliamentary majority is not secured in the first two rounds, Berri may be re-elected in a third voting round, provided that the quorum required for its convening is complete.

In the absence of any form of compromise, Tuesday’s parliamentary session will inevitably see multiple candidates for the position of deputy speaker, including new faces in the parliament.

In this regard, sources close to the deputies representing the change movement told Asharq Al-Awsat that discussions were underway to draw up a unified road map and decide on a stance regarding the election of the parliament speaker.

On the other hand, the Democratic Parliamentary Gathering, headed by MP Taymour Walid Jumblatt, said that it would deal “realistically” with the election of the speaker of parliament, as long as there is no candidate running against Berri.

Sources close to the Gathering noted that its position on the election of the deputy speaker was currently subject to coordination with the other “sovereign forces.”

The Free Patriotic Movement’s Change and Reform bloc decided to nominate MP Elias Bou Saab for the position of deputy speaker. The head of the FPM, MP Gebran Bassil, who rebelled against the will of his ally Hezbollah, stated that he would not support the re-election of Berri unconditionally.

Berri, for his part, was quoted as saying that he would not engage in “bargains” in exchange for his election.

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