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Lebanon’s Constitutional Council Rebuffs Criticism after Removing MP from Office

Lebanon’s Constitutional Council Rebuffs Criticism after Removing MP from Office

Saturday, 23 February, 2019 - 11:45
Judge Issam Sleiman. Asharq Al-Awsat
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
The head of Lebanon’s Constitutional Council, Judge Issam Sleiman, has defended the court against accusations of political interference after it removed al-Mustaqbal Movement MP Dima Jamali from office and ordered new elections for the seat in Tripoli.

“Anyone who is affected by a judicial decision is going to say there’s political interference, but there was no political meddling whatsoever,” said Sleiman on Friday.

“Our decision was carefully studied but unfortunately some media outlets misinterpreted it,” he said.

“This political campaign against the Constitutional Council is rejected,” Sleiman added.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal Movement has slammed the Council, which is Lebanon’s highest court on electoral matters.

A statement from al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc considered the Council’s move as “political treason” which targets Hariri personally in order “to settle political scores.”

After the court’s decision, Jamali visited Hariri at the Center house on Thursday telling reporters the premier had asked her to run in the by-election for the Tripoli seat.

Interior Minister Raya El Hassan has announced that elections will take place within two months, as stipulated by the Constitution.

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