A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nabih Berri Re-Elected Speaker

I posted earlier about the emerging "grand bargain" that seems to be coming together on reconciling Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and perhaps other parties. Unsurprisingly but a necessary prelude to any deal: Nabih Berri has been re-elected Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, with 90 votes out of 127 deputies present (of 128); 28 cast blank ballots and there were a smattering of votes for other candidates, including one who is dead. Various accounts may be found here (Daily Star), another here (Naharnet) and from the opposite political pole here (Hizbullah).

In typical Lebanese fashion, Parliament didn't vote until the deal was already guaranteed by Sa‘d Hariri's public endorsement of Berri, though since the Speaker is a post reserved for Shi‘ites, Berri was the only really serious candidate, since a Hizbullah figure was not a credible option.

The Lebanese habit of firing automatic weapons into the air to celebrate — well, just about anything — killed at least one civilian.

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