Search
Search

NEW PARLIAMENT

Speaker and deputy speaker of Parliament posts: No deal between Amal and the FPM, Berri says

The speaker of Parliament denies having renounced his run for another term, although several parties oppose his reelection.

Speaker and deputy speaker of Parliament posts: No deal between Amal and the FPM, Berri says

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. (Credit: Hassan Ibrahim/Lebanese Parliament)

Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri has assured that he will run for the presidency of the Parliament, which he has held without interruption since 1992, although several parties are opposed to it.

He also denied the existence of an alleged barter between his Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) of Gebran Bassil, under which the Aounist deputies would vote for him and those of Amal for the FPM MP Elias Bou Saab for the vice-presidency of the Parliament.

In an interview published Saturday by the daily Annahar, Berry denied rumors that he would not run for another term as speaker.

"It will only happen in their dreams," he said, as the Parliament resulting from the May 15 legislative elections is set to meet next week to elect a new speaker.

Still no agreement

While information is circulating about a barter between his party and the FPM to ensure his reelection and the election of Bou Saab, the Amal leader said that there is "no deal on this subject."

"We still have not agreed on anything so far," he added, recalling that two other parliamentarians, Ghassan Hasbani (Lebanese Forces) and Melhem Khalaf (from the new opposition groups), are also candidates for the vice-presidency.

Berri said that "the country is facing two choices: either to rise above the division between majorities and minorities and agree to give priority to the major impending deadlines, especially at the economic and social levels, or to prepare for a grim future.”

On Friday, Berri had argued that "Parliament is master of itself."

"In the end, we must all respect the decision of the Assembly that will elect the new Speaker of the House," he had pleaded. The LF and the FPM, the main Christian parties elected to Parliament, as well as the new deputies from the protest movement, oppose Berri's re-election. In a speech on Thursday, LF leader Samir Geagea stressed that "the Speaker of Parliament must have very obvious characteristics that do not apply to Nabih Berri.

All 27 Shiite seats in Parliament were taken by Amal and its ally Hezbollah, except for the seat of Jamil Sayyed, who is close to their political camp. LF MPs and others who oppose Berri are therefore limited in their options, but can still abstain from voting for him. For the first time since his accession to the head of the legislative, the leader of the Amal movement risks being reelected with a narrow majority, while his reelection was previously effortless. 

This article was originally published in French in L'Orient-Le Jour.


Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri has assured that he will run for the presidency of the Parliament, which he has held without interruption since 1992, although several parties are opposed to it. He also denied the existence of an alleged barter between his Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) of Gebran Bassil, under which the Aounist deputies would vote for him and those of Amal...