Lebanon News

Lebanon Cabinet makes key public appointments

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk checks the appointment proposal papers during a Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Friday, May 2, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Cabinet filled vacant posts Friday by appointing new governors for Beirut and other newly established governorates including Hermel and Akkar.

During a Cabinet session at Baabda Palace, ministers agreed to appoint Ziyad Shbib as Beirut governor, Bashir Khodr for Baalbek/Hermel, Fouad Fleifel for Mount Lebanon, Ramzi Nahra for north Lebanon, and Imad Labaki for Akkar.

The government also accepted the resignation of acting Beirut Governor Nassif Qaloush, weeks after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

The key appointments came after a dispute between President Michel Sleiman and the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition was apparently resolved, political sources said.

The sources told The Daily Star the original venue for the meeting was Baabda Palace, but had been changed to the Grand Serail following the row over appointments imposed by Sleiman.

It was changed back to Baabda after the row was resolved.

March 8 officials argue that Sleiman cannot appoint his brother as Customs Director General or Fadi Martinios as Casino du Liban Director, posts reserved for the Hezbollah-led alliance.

Sleiman, according to the sources, also demanded the appointment of at least 20 other employees.

However, ministers scrapped the Grand Serail venue and decided to hold the session at Baabda Palace at 4 p.m. after Prime Minister Tammam Salam mediated the dispute, the sources added.





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