Lebanese Parliament introduced its speaker, re-electing Nabih Berri, in the opening sessions two weeks after the elections.
Nabih Berri, the long-standing Speaker of Lebanese Parliament, has been re-elected for another term in the country’s fresh parliament. This was the first legislative session following the elections two weeks ago.
In his re-election address, Berri called on everyone to attend the collaboration to build a legislature that strengthens civic harmony. “We want a parliament that refuses political vacuums and fulfils its constitutional obligations,” Berry asserted in his remarks.
Berri gained 65 votes out of 128 in Lebanese parliament. He received 98 votes in the previous term back in 2018, indicating a 30-vote reduction. He has served as Speaker of the legislature for thirty years. The speaker is invariably a Shiite Muslim under Lebanon’s delicate religious power-distribution arrangements.
Berri’s Amal Movement is a key supporter of Hezbollah, another strong Shiite organization movement. Twenty-three parliamentarians voted with their hands in the air, while the other 40 voted by protest ballots.
Some legislators sought to emphasize the Lebanese state’s failings in the voided ballots. They inscribed the names of killed Shia scholar and analyst, as well as the deceased of the Beirut Port blast two years ago.
The Lebanese legislative elections on May 15 were the first following the onset of country’s financial downturn. Around 80% of Lebanese community has been pushed into dire poverty caused by sharp depression. Voters vented their rage on the ruling system and its supporters, with partly favoring the independents in the elections.
16 anti-system independent candidates found their way to the parliament through the ballots. In comparison to the 2018 elections, the statistic represents a %1400 rise. They received welcome by a gathering of fans carrying national flags as they arrived at parliament building in the capital.
Who will be in favor of establishing the administration is still under question, a question which could take several months to be responded. Hezbollah and its supporters are now up against a stronger challenge from both conventional opposition groups and anti-system reformers.
“We are here to reinforce democracy and human rights in Lebanon … we will refuse any kind of compromise,” a university professor and fresh Parliamentarian told reporters.
Anti-establishment leaders had already visited supporters and families of the Beirut port blast victims. Survivors held photos of their loved ones and begged the new MPs to pursue the probe that had been halted for several months.
Families are unhappy that bulk of MPs continue to represent the traditional system of Lebanon‘s main groups. They think that everyone feels loyal to their group and movement.
In Beirut port explosion back in 2020, over 200 people lost their lives and 6,500 inflicted injuries. The incident was caused by hundreds of tons of extremely explosive ammonium nitrate that had been stockpiled for six years. The blast was rare in the history of non-nuclear blasts.
Former politicians and security authorities have been accused of criminal misconduct by Judge Tarek Bitar. His inquiry, however, is still stalled, with families accusing government authorities of hindering the probe.
The value of Lebanese currency was undermined by 90% in two years, indicating that Lebanese economy is in free fall. This is amid the government’s inability to contain the soaring inflation. To take the economy under control, the new Lebanese parliament must create a government, begin discussions with the IMF, and undertake economic reforms.
Members of the next parliament are likely to confront challenges. They think that by refusing to back down, more Lebanese people would be inspired to vote against the old system and economy.