Berri says Bassil 'better than others', lauds his call for consensus


Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has lauded the latest stances of Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil regarding the presidential crisis.

“Bassil spoke of consensus and has supported dialogue with my mechanism and under my chairmanship, and in this regard Jebran is better than the others,” Berri told al-Jadeed television.

“Bassil did not mention any names of candidates, and as to Franjieh, he told me that they will not endorse him,” the Speaker added.

In remarks to al-Akhbar newspaper, Berri emphasized that the dialogue he is calling for is the only way to elect a new president.

“Without dialogue, even if they call it consultations, there will not be two thirds of parliament’s members to attend the electoral session, regardless of the number of rounds that might be held,” Berri said.

And in remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper, the Speaker said the proposed consultations might lead to an agreement on “one, two or more candidates.”

“Once a political agreement is reached over quorum, we would go to parliament and elect a president from among these candidates, and I don’t rule out at all that we might finish the election in one session, on the condition that the two-thirds quorum remain available in the session,” Berri added.