Berri giving up on June 8 session since quorum will not be met


Parliamentary sources told al Jumhourya newspaper that Speaker Nabih Berri is in the process of preparing invitations for a parliamentary session on June 15 , knowing that the quorum will not be met today.

The sources added that Berri will be issuing invitations for a June 22 session if the quorum will not be met on June 15 and will continue to do so every following week until the quorum is met .

Progressive Socialist party leader MP Walid Jumblatt proposed a solution to the June 8 parliamentary session that, Al Hayat newspaper reported.

His proposal calls for giving priority to the issue of extending the term of Central bank Governor Riad Salameh. Jumblatt wants this issue to be the first item on the agenda instead of being number 36. In such a case he and his bloc members will attend and will leave as soon as the bill on the term for Salameh is voted on.

Berri according to al Hayat may not accept Jumblatt’s proposal because as soon as the PSP leader leaves the parliament with the members of his bloc it will lead to the loss of meeting quorum ( 64 +1) and therefore he cannot continue with the legislative session, knowing that PM designate Nagib Mikati and his bloc members will also boycott the session.

According to analysts the maximum number of MPs that Berri could muster for this session is 58 out of 128 member parliament.

In a related development An Nahar reported that discussions are ongoing over holding an extraordinary meeting for the caretaker cabinet to renew the term of Salameh. President Michel Suleiman and Caretaker PM Saad Hariri are both reportedly in favor of such plan.

Speaker Nabih Berri called last month for a parliament session on June 8 but March 14 alliance and other parties allied with the Hezbollah -led March 8 alliance are opposed to the idea and consider such a meeting unconstitutional aimed at undermining the role of outgoing cabinet of caretaker PM Saad Hariri .