Hezbollah MP: Iran-Saudi Arabia behind vote law deadlock


MP Kamel al-Rifai Hezbollah MPHezbollah’s MP Kamel al-Rifai blamed the lack of Saudi-Iranian understanding for Lebanon’s inability to form a government and for the current deadlock over reaching an agreement between the rival politicians on an electoral law for the upcoming elections, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa reported on Sunday.

“The lack of Saudi-Iranian understanding over Lebanon’s politics has had a negative impact on the issues of forming a government and agreeing on an electoral law,” Rifai was quoted as saying in an interview with Al-Anbaa .

Rifai added: “This lack of understanding led to a political dispute between the March 8 and 14 groups, which is neither beneficial to Lebanon nor to the Lebanese people.”

“The crises of forming a government and adopting an electoral law will remain unsolved unless regional understandings are reached,” Rifai stressed

The Hezbollah MP also told the Kuwaiti daily that “as long as there is no Saudi-Iranian understanding, the parliament’s mandate will definitely be extended for a period that ranges anywhere between six months and a year.”

PM Designate Tammam Salam has so far been unable to form a cabinet that will oversee the upcoming elections for two reasons .First because without an electoral law there can be no elections to supervise and second because the Iranian backed Hezbollah led March 8 alliance is insisting on having veto power in the cabinet. Salam wants to form a cabinet of 24 members ; 8 March 8 members, 8 March 14 and 8 Centrists , but the Hezbollah-led March 8 is insisting on being represented by 9 cabinet members, to allow it to overthrow the cabinet like it did in 2011.

The Lebanese Parliament electoral subcommittee adjourned on Saturday its seventh round of talks for further consultations over a new electoral law after the rival parties failed once again to reach consensus. The session, which was chaired by Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri, was adjourned to Monday.

The failure to reach an agreement over a new electoral law is threatening to postpone the elections and the extension of the term of the current parliament, a move that is opposed by the president and several politicians.

President Suleiman circles reported on Friday that the president opposes extending the term for more than four months.

This extension “must be technical and linked to the staging of the elections,” they said.

While president Suleiman wants to limit the extension to maximum 4 months Speaker Nabih Berri is reportedly insisting that it should be extended for at least 2 years , al Akhbar newspaper reported , stressing that it ( 4 months extension) violates regulations that say that the extension of parliament will entail the extension of the term of all other institutions, including his term as speaker.

Now / Agencies