Lebanese parliament re-elects Berri as speaker for 7th term

Beirut, May 31 (EFE).- Lebanon’s parliament on Tuesday elected Nabih Berri as its speaker for a seventh consecutive term in office.

Berri, who presided over the first parliament session after May’s elections as the oldest member, announced he obtained the absolute majority of 65 votes in the 128-seat chamber.

The pro-Syrian March 8 Alliance, headed by Berri’s Amal party, which comprises Hezbollah and the Christian Free Patriotic Movement, lost its majority in the elections held on May 15.

In total, 40 of Tuesday’s ballots were annulled and another 23 were blank votes, allowing the octogenarian Berri to stay in the post he has held for 30 years.

Under the Lebanese Constitution, the parliament speaker should be a Shiite Muslim, while the President of the Republic must be a Maronite Christian and the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim.

Nearly all the Shiite lawmakers in the new chamber are affiliated in one way or another with Amal or Hezbollah, so there were hardly any alternatives to his appointment. EFE


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