Berri Says Extension a ‘Necessary Evil’ to Avoid ‘Lethal and Destructive Vacuum’

Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday described the controversial proposed extension of parliament’s term as “a necessary evil” aimed at avoiding “lethal and destructive vacuum in the country.”

“We have always been open to discussions to produce a new electoral law and hold the polls according to it, but in the absence of an agreement on the law, we are obliged to accept extension as a necessary evil aimed at avoiding lethal and destructive vacuum in the country,” MPs quoted Berri as saying during his weekly meeting with lawmakers in Ain el-Tineh.

“After agreeing on an electoral law and passing it, we would become able to revise the extension period,” Berri noted.

The MPs also said that Berri is “keen on the new presidential tenure and state institutions.”

“But this keenness requires us all to prevent a parliamentary vacuum,” Berri was quoted as saying.

Ain el-Tineh sources meanwhile told MTV that “the issue is not about who wants extension and who does not want it, but rather about who wants vacuum and who does not want it.”

The Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces have lashed out at the proposed extension of parliament’s term, vowing to boycott Thursday’s session and stage massive street protests.

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