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Parliament passed a long-awaited draft law to protect women against domestic violence Tuesday, but failed to introduce major amendments advocated by women's rights groups.The legislature also endorsed a draft rent law, but postponed till Wednesday an examination of a thorny bill that would make over 1,000 contract workers at Electricite du Liban full-timers. A bill establishing the post of an environmental public prosecutor was also among the 21 draft laws passed by Parliament Tuesday. Women's groups and EDL contract workers staged protests around Parliament as it debated draft laws throughout the day, which along with the usual roadblocks set up during Parliament sessions prompted heavy traffic congestion in Downtown Beirut. The committee, comprising MPs Ali Bazzi, Ali Ammar, Mohammad Qabbani, Ibrahim Kanaan, Sami Gemayel, George Adwan and Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi failed to reach consensus on the draft law despite intensified contacts with Speaker Nabih Berri.Under the current draft law, many of the contract workers could fail to meet the requirements to become full-timers.EDL contract workers protested in Riad Solh Square several hundred meters away from Parliament, demanding that the draft law be amended.
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