BEIRUT: The Kataeb called over the weekend for amending a key clause in the government’s policy statement, repeating its threat to withdraw from Cabinet should the document be put to a vote of confidence unaltered.
“The resignation of [Kataeb] Party ministers is linked to a needed amendment [to a clause in the policy statement that would resolve] the dangerous ambiguity [surrounding] the role, position, sovereignty, and authority of the state in relation to national decision-making,” the party said after meeting for an extraordinary session Saturday night.
According to the statement, read by Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi, the Kataeb Party decision came after party members discussed the policy statement and “voiced reservations over clauses related to the sovereignty of the state.”
“ Kataeb ministers will resign if the necessary modification is not completed before the [vote of confidence] session [in Parliament],” the statement said.
Berri will convene Parliament Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. to begin discussions before MPs cast their vote of confidence for the 24-member Cabinet to effectively begin its work.
Cabinet approved Friday the policy statement after a month-long stalemate over how the role of the resistance should be mentioned in the ministerial statement,
Three Kataeb ministers as well as Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi voiced reservations on the clause which “stressed the right of Lebanese citizens to resist Israeli occupation, repulse its attacks and recover occupied territories.”