The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Parliament extension possible to avoid vacuum
Sources close to Speaker Nabih Berri told Al-Joumhouria that Berri is convinced that there are no signs that the presidential election will take place in the foreseeable future.
Berri has raised fears that if some parties remain adamant on holding parliamentary elections despite the presidential vacuum, while others insist on holding the presidential election, this could thwart any decision either way and thus disrupt election or extension plans, leading to a legislative vacuum.
And since Berri is aware of the difficulty in reaching agreement on a new election law, he has expressed support for extending Parliament’s mandate to avoid a legislative vacuum.
The issue regarding public employees’ salaries has taken on a political dimension tied to legislative sessions, despite a denial of playing politics by Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, who insisted Monday on the need to pass a law authorizing extra-budgetary spending to pay civil servants’ wages over the coming months.
The Future Movement, however, disagrees with Khalil, meaning that the issue of public sector wages could cause yet another split among the Cabinet, already divided over the controversial salary scale issue.
State Minister for Administrative Reform Nabil de Freij, who represents the Future Movement in Cabinet, pointed to a paragraph in the Public Accounting Law which states that in the event of running out funds, the government can issue a decree that legalizes capital reserve funding.
Three officials, two ministers on hit-list
Security reports have revealed terror plots being implemented by non-Lebanese agents in an effort to destabilize Lebanon’s security and stability.
According to these reports, the plots include bomb attacks in Beirut’s suburbs and other areas as well as assassinations.
Topping the hit-list, according to well-informed security sources, were Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi.