President Michel Sleiman speaks during the Lebanese Excellency Awards ceremony in Baabda, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The fate of the nearly month-old government hangs in the balance as a ministerial committee tasked with drafting a policy statement failed Tuesday to resolve the dispute over the resistance clause and referred the issue to the Cabinet.Salam's decision to convene the Cabinet came shortly after the committee announced its failure to reach an agreement on mentioning the resistance in the policy statement.It is the first time in the history of Lebanese governments that a ministerial committee has failed to agree on a policy statement, an essential move before the Cabinet can seek a vote of confidence in Parliament. In a terse statement issued by his office, Salam said the ministerial committee's 10th session did not reach an agreement on a final version of the draft policy statement. Chaired by Salam, the seven-member committee, which includes ministers from the March 8 and March 14 camps and centrists, constitutionally has 30 days from its formation to present its policy statement to Parliament for approval.Although March 14 ministers have a majority in the Cabinet, voting on the draft policy statement is viewed as unconstitutional by legal experts, who argue that the Cabinet's blueprint should be approved unanimously.
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