BEIRUT: Parliament Thursday wrapped up three days of legislation in which lawmakers passed several notable laws and postponed discussion on pending proposals, ending a nearly year-long paralysis.
Lawmakers convened around 10 a.m. in Nejmeh Square and debated some 40 items remaining on its agenda, including a proposal by MP Michel Aoun to grant compensation to Army officers and soldiers who were relieved in 1990.
Speaker Nabih Berri referred the draft law to a committee for further discussion and eight other proposals were put off for next week’s scheduled sessions.
Before closing the session, Berri stressed the importance of finalizing the draft law concerning the public sector’s salary scale by next week, which he said would pave the way for lawmakers to begin debating proposed electoral laws.
Failure to agree on and pass a new elections law prompted lawmakers to renew their four-year term by 17 months last May.
A joint committee is set to convene Friday to continue discussion on the draft law to increase the salary of civil servants. The Union Coordination Committee, representing public sector employees and teachers, has threatened to resume a series of strikes if the law is not approved soon.
During the session, MP Ibrahim Kanaan asked MPs to pass a draft law to make Civil Defense volunteers full time employees as a group of them blocked a road in north Lebanon in an attempt to pressure Parliament.
"Next week will be divisive and will demonstrate our credibility with regards to giving Civil Defense volunteers their rights,” Kanaan said.
"Years have passed and Civil Defense continues to do its job for the people. So why should we wait any longer to make them full-time employees?” he said.
Notable pieces of legislation that Parliament approved in the past two days include a law to change the status of around 1,800 Electricite du Liban contract workers to full-time employees, a domestic violence law, and a controversial rent law opposed by long-time tenants.