BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam has pledged to shoulder his responsibilities in the midst of a political stalemate in Lebanon.
“I will continue with the duties required [during this period], at the forefront the collaboration of everybody,” he told an iftar banquet organized by the Makassed charitable organization in Beirut. His remarks were published Friday.
“I have strong convictions, and I will hold on to them."
Addressing the various political parties, Salam said: “On this occasion, I tell all political forces enough being skeptical; enough mistrust; enough manipulating the fate of Lebanon.”
Salam urged politicians to “return to your conscience so together we could overcome this phase and provide a long-term solution to Lebanon's instability.”
Lebanon has been without a president since May 25, with the presidential vacuum almost totally paralyzing Parliament and the government.
Meanwhile, a debate over extra-budgetary spending continues, with Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil responding to the Future bloc’s stance by saying it had blocked dialogue over the issue.
Khalil said earlier this month that he would not authorize extra-budgetary spending without a law passed by Parliament, raising fears that the salaries of public sector employees would not be paid at the end of July in the absence of the legislation.
The Future bloc responded, saying that the payment of salaries was the responsibility of Khalil and did not require a parliamentary law but only government authorization in line with the General Accounting Law. This method has been adopted by all governments since 2005, the last year Parliament endorsed a budget.