Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What Next?: Questioning the Speaker of the Parliament's Role

It just dawned at me as I was reading Elias Abu Rizk's statement calling for the resignation of the President and the Speaker of the Parliament, that this is the first time Berri's position is questioned. Since the late Hariri's assassination, the positions of the President and the Prime Minister have undergone heavy questioning and constitutional speculation, while the Speaker of the Parliament went untouched.

Why? Why has no one touched Berri? He remained fairly silent all this time and now today we saw him on TV during the Parliamentary debates...just the same, the same attitude, always taking the role of the Speaker of the Parliament lightly, well-known for interrupting the speakers during the hearings with unsophisticated comments, generally biased, and of course biased, because he has always taken sides.

So I asked myself what are the rules governing the role of the Speaker of the Parliament in our constitution. A glance at the Constitution, nothing there about the role of the Speaker of the Parliament nor on the mechanism of electing one. Is he appointed? Elected? If elected, by whom?

I'm curious. If someone out there knows, I would like to get their insight. I will do more research, but being far from home, I might be limited in the resources I can dig through.

I believe it's time to truely and genuinely see a fresh start to our Parliament. Berri should not sit untouched; in a democratic system, all political positions are subject to accountablity by the public.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Raja said...


speaking about parliament, I am also aware that there is a "committee" system in there that somehow functions. Since we've brought the issue of the Speaker up we might as well dedicate this post to figuring out the other unknowns in our legislative body. Some questions about the committees that come to my mind are:

1. How many parliamentary committees are there?
2. What policies do they deal with?
3. What are their prerogatves?
4. How accessible are they?
5. and finally, what is the process of getting MPs to become members of these committees?

Raja said...


I just heard Berri refer to the Committees as "the kitchen" of the parliament.