Lebanon parliament speaker rejects sectarianism claims

The Lebanese parliament speaker has dismissed accusations that link holding parliament sessions to the issues between the Sunni and Shia Muslim communities in the country.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Nabih Berri lashed out at critics accusing him of paralyzing the country. “We are seeking to help the state institutions to rise again,” he said.

Berri stressed that representing the Lebanese Shia community in the country’s confessional ruling system did not drag him into sectarianism and that all his decisions were in line with national interests.

“The parliament is owned by the Lebanese people and not exclusive by the Shias,” he told reporters.

Berri stated that the parliament was in a constant state of session in an extraordinary manner and that sessions to discuss a number of draft laws will be held on July 1-3 as scheduled.

On May 31, 2013, the Lebanese government decided to extend the parliament for 17 months until November 2014, postponing the parliamentary election until November 2014.

The move triggered protests in Beirut, where clashes erupted between security forces and demonstrators calling the extension of parliament unconstitutional.

Critics have been calling for the government to hold the general election originally scheduled for June, so that people can elect a new legislative body.

However, Berri defended the extension given resignation of the Prime Minister Najib Mikati in late March, saying the parliament had to continue legislation to restore the people’s trust in the parliament.

By Press TV


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