The Lebanese leaders held another national dialogue session on Wednesday — the second of three scheduled meetings . The focus of the session was the creation of a senate and implementing administrative decentralization, National News Agency reported.
The session convened at Ain el-Tineh following a meeting a day earlier that media reports described as “positive,” although the outcome did not record a major breakthrough.
Most of the heads of the parliamentary blocs attended Wednesday’s meeting with he exception of the head of the Democratic Gathering bloc MP Walid Jumblatt who was represented by MP Ghazi Aridi, and head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun who was represented by his son-in-law and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
After the session ended, Phalange party leader Sami Gemayel said in a statement : “Today decentralization has been addressed seriously which is a pivotal issue for the Lebanese. We have put this file on the right track today.
“As for the election of a president and agreeing on an electoral law, I am sorry to say that we have been escaping the implementation of democracy for many years now, because a a president cannot be elected through an agreement between the interlocutors on the table but through a secret voting process, as stipulated in the constitution.”
For his part, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil dubbed Wednesday’s meeting as “the most important session among all,” and assured that discussing an electoral law will begin tomorrow.
Berri had called for three successive dialogue meeting on August 1, 2 and 3 in a bid to solve the country’s political impasse.
The Lebanese parliament failed again earlier last month and and for the 42nd time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 , 2014.
As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the session, because they could not reportedly guarantee Aoun’s election as a president.
Amal Movement leader, Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to August 8, 2016.
Last week a key Hezbollah official suggested that Aoun could become the next president provided former PM Saad Hariri severs all ties with Saudi Arabia.
Hezbollah and Iran , according to analysts do not want a president for Lebanon at this stage despite the fact that they have the votes to guarantee Aoun’s election.
Iran’s influence in Lebanon is at odds with all the countries supporting opposing political camps.
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