Prime Minister Tammam Salam, left, meets with Speaker Nabih Berri at Ain el-Tineh on Thursday, June 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/HO)
Filling the vacuum
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Lebanese leaders scrambled Thursday to prevent the presidential vacuum from crippling government work as the international community threw its weight behind Prime Minister Tammam Salam's Cabinet while calling for a swift election of a new president.Salam, facing a split within his Cabinet over how to exercise full executive powers, including the president's prerogatives, met with Speaker Nabih Berri to discuss the government's work while the presidency seat remains vacant. In addition to the Cabinet's work, Berri and Salam discussed Parliament's legislative role and the presidential election, the National News Agency said.The Constitution vests full executive powers, including those of the president, with the Cabinet in the case of a presidential vacuum.Health Minister Wael Abu Faour warned after meeting Berri against paralyzing the work of the Cabinet and Parliament under the pretext of a presidential vacuum, saying the Constitution was "very clear" with regard to Cabinet assuming presidential duties. Berri met separately Wednesday with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk to discuss the Cabinet's work amid the presidential vacuum.The parliamentary Future bloc said the Cabinet should continue its work in running the country, while efforts should be intensified to elect a president.
Filling the vacuum
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