Prime Minister Tammam Salam heads the ministerial committee meeting at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Lawmakers and legal experts are split over the fate of the Cabinet if no agreement is reached over its policy statement within the Constitution's one-month deadline, which expires on March 17 . Speaker Nabih Berri, former Speaker Hussein Husseini and a number of March 8 lawmakers contend that the 24-member Cabinet would be considered resigned if it fails to agree on a policy statement by March 17, after which President Michel Sleiman would be obliged under the Constitution to hold consultations with members of Parliament to name a new prime minister. However, some March 14 lawmakers and legal experts disagree, arguing that the Cabinet would not be considered resigned if the constitutional deadline ends without an agreement on a policy statement. Berri, backed by Husseini, has ruled that the Cabinet would be considered resigned if the one-month constitutional deadline ended without an agreement reached on a policy statement.Salam, in Berri's view, should announce the resignation of his Cabinet if the deadline expires without an agreement on a policy statement.
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