Berri elected Lebanese Speaker for 6th time

By Indo Asian News Service | Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | 7:22:04 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

Beirut, May 23 (IANS) Lebanon Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri was on Wednesday re-elected to the post, which he is holding for the sixth time, during the first session of the new assembly.

Beirut, May 23 (IANS) Lebanon Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri was on Wednesday re-elected to the post, which he is holding for the sixth time, during the first session of the new assembly.

Berri, 80, heads the Shia party Amal and was the only one in the running for Speaker, a position which he has held since 1992.

"I sincerely thank, for the sixth time, the members of parliament for their confidence in renewing my responsibilities as Parliament Speaker", said Berri, who received 98 votes out of a 128, reported Efe news agency.

"Our new parliament meets, following elections, to be the best gift for our people on the 18th anniversary of liberation," Berri added, in reference to the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon on May 25, 2000, after 22 years of military occupation.

He also took the opportunity to criticize Israel's killing in recent weeks of over a hundred Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing political system requires the Prime Minister to be a Sunni Muslim, while the Speaker of Parliament must be a Shia Muslim and the President a Maronite Christian (Eastern Catholic).

Berri received the support of his parliamentary bloc along with Hezbollah, the Future Movement of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the Progressive Socialist Party of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

Lebanon held legislative elections on May 6, the first in nine years.

--IANS

mag/vd

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