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Lebanon’s MPs extend own terms

The recent decision of the Lebanese parliament to extend its term for another 31 months, without holding elections, might be a step to put the country under foreign tutelage.
Lebanese activists dressed as politicians carry plastic bags with their heads covered in stockings during a demonstration against the extension of parliament, near the parliament building in downtown Beirut October 1, 2014. REUTERS/Sharif Karim  (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR48HVC
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A few days ago, a Lebanese law student at one of Beirut’s universities posted on her Facebook page, “I think we can no longer find the word ‘election’ anywhere, except in the dictionary. Perhaps it is just a word from an ancient and obsolete language. At best, we might come across it in the courses we took about constitutional law, but it is definitely a strange practice for Lebanon!”

The student was referring to a commonplace phenomenon in Lebanon these days. The presidency has been vacant since May 25, and the parliament has failed to elect a new president. Instead, on Nov. 5, that same parliament decided to pass a law that extended its term for 31 months, to end June 20, 2017. In May 2013, the parliament had extended its term that was supposed to end in June 2013 for 17 more months. By doing so, it canceled the parliamentary elections that were supposed to be held last spring and ensured a complete four-year term for its MPs elected in 2009.

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