BEIRUT — The Lebanese Forces' and Free Patriotic Movement's parliamentary blocs announced Wednesday that they plan to boycott Thursday's legislative session over their view that the body should not legislate during the country's eight-month presidential vacuum.
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled the parliamentary session for Thursday, Aug. 17 at 11 a.m. to discuss bills and proposals.
Lebanese Forces (LF) MP Fadi Karam said in a statement Wednesday that the planned session is "not constitutional." He noted that "the Lebanese Forces will submit an appeal regarding this [session's decisions] and those of any session held in light of the presidential vacuum."
Meanwhile, the FPM decided it would also not participate.
Several Christian parliamentary groups have boycotted previous parliamentary sessions to signal their dissatisfaction with legislating during the presidential vacuum. Under the Lebanese Constitution, Parliament is meant to serve solely as an electoral body during periods of presidential vacuum, rather than a legislative assembly.
Karam added that "there is no meaning for a dialogue in September if the parties' proposals remain far apart." He stressed that the LF's participation in the dialogue depends on the behavior of Hezbollah and its allies.
French special envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Beirut at the end of July and proposed that Lebanese political players take part in an informal dialogue in September to find a solution to the political impasse.