Tuesday, May 10, 2005

More on Constitutionality of the Speaker

As you recall in two previous posts of mine, I brought up the subject of the constitutionality of Nabih Berri's position as the Speaker of the Parliament. I was glad to come across an article in Al-Nahar that broached this issue and hence I would like to share my findings:

The Taif Accord stipulates that the Speaker of the Parliament's term ends after four years, at the time the Parliament's mandate expires. Prior to the Taif period, the Speaker's term terminated annually and was subject to renewal if the majority of the MPs support the renewal.

Secondly, the Speaker under Taif has the power to decide not to convene a certain Parliamentary session, even if the majority of MPs wish to hold that session.

Section 44 of the Consitution states that the Parliament after two years from electing its Speaker and Vice-Speaker, has the right to withdraw confidence from the Speaker and the Vice-Speaker by 2/3 of the attending members and based on a petition signed by at least 10 MPs.

Some political sources, as mentioned by Al-Nahar, wish to see changes in such laws and standard operations procedures, such as to reduce the Speaker's term to only two years and to allow for his/her withdrawal to be determined by a majority vote of 1/2 of the attending MPs, as opposed to 2/3.

Such mechanisms would help keep the Speaker of the Parliament accountable. On Thursday, when a number of MPs visit Berri in Mseileh and submit their petition signed by 40 MPs calling to hold a Parliamentary session to discuss Geagea's release and the electoral law, no rule or law can pressure Berri to agree to hold this session...it is basically up to him to decide.

It's time to change these laws!

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

1 comment:

Cheers said...

You have my vote on that, and...

no rule or law can pressure Berri to agree to hold this session...it is basically up to him to decide.

Something needs to be done about that too....