Monday, October 22, 2007

Will the House meet?

Lebanon is currently speculating whether a new parliamentary session will take place as scheduled for Tuesday, October 23. The latest news seems to indicate Berri might be postponing the meeting until November 6 or even November 13.

The most likely reason March 8 does not want to call for a session is that there is still no unanimity over a consensus candidate. If Berri was to call for a session, it could be seen as the first voting round. If this round does not give any candidate a 2/3 majority, a new session must be called for...and that next round only requires a simple majority. So by postponing the first session, March 8 likewise postpones the first voting round.

See also here for an in-depth analysis saying that the 2/3 majority is only needed to vote for a president, but that the quorum to hold the presidential election only requires a simply majority of the members of parliament.

What's interesting now is the call of March 14 upon Berri for him to announces that there will be no session in order to avoid being killed en route between the Phoenicia hotel, where many March 14 politicians are staying these days, and the Parliament. Surely, March 14 could decide to stay at the hotel in anticipation of no session taking place, but that would give the opposition the ammunition to accuse them of not being democratic. The world upside down? Nah, just another day in Lebanon:-)

Nabih Berri has just announced that the parliamentary session is postponed until November 12.


Gerard said...

Never postpone tomorrow what you can postpone today... At least Phoenicia Hotel will not loose a customer tomorrow.