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Hariri supports extending parliament’s term “if necessary”

BEIRUT – Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri stressed that he supports the extension of the parliament’s term, which was already extended in May 2013 until late 2014, if it proved necessary.

 

“I have discovered that Speaker Nabih Berri does not want to extend the parliament’s term, and neither do we, the Future Movement, but we do not want to be shooting ourselves in the foot,” Hariri declared in a statement issued Tuesday.

 

On May 31, Lebanon’s parliament extended its mandate until November 2014 with a bill that was signed by 97 lawmakers in a move to postpone the country’s parliamentary elections. 

 

The extension came after months of political squabbling that witnesses no breakthrough on approving an electoral under which to hold the vote. Since the extension, no progress has been achieved in approving new electoral law to replace the controversial 1960 law that government the 2009 elections.

 

On a different note, the Future leader warned that the deadlock over implementing public sector wage increases was “dangerous, and might explode in our faces at any moment.”

 

“We must search for solutions to protect the Lebanese economy,” Hariri added.

 

The controversial public sector draft law, which aims to increase the wages of state employees, has faced delays and hurdles as politicians squabble over the means to finance the raises. 

 

The ranks and salaries scale was amended by a parliamentary sub-committee in early May 2014. The committee was formed to reinvestigate the wage increase, after parliament failed to reach an agreement on sources of funding.

 

A series of protests have been held since December 2013, after the Budget and Finance Parliamentary Committee approved a series of changes to the proposal.

We must search for solutions to protect the Lebanese economy.