BEIRUT: The Future parliamentary bloc said Tuesday that it rejected a presidential vacuum, highlighting the need for Lebanon to elect a president before the Constitutional deadline.
“The movement believes that a vacuum in the presidency is generally unacceptable and particularly during these sensitive circumstances which the country and the region are going through,” a statement issued after the bloc's weekly meeting said.
Following a meeting headed by MP Fouad Siniora, the Future lawmakers said that electing a new president “tops national and constitutional priorities” and should be finalized in Parliament’s next session.
Parliament is scheduled to meet again Thursday in a fourth attempt in less than a month to elect a president before May 25.
“The country needs a president to lead the country in accordance with the Constitution and in the National Pact,” the statement added.
The bloc also called on the March 8 group to nominate its candidate for the presidential race after the March 14’s nomination of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
The Future bloc also called on Parliament’s General Assembly to pass the new wage hike for the public sector.
“The debate should emphasize the rights of the workers in the public sector including administrators, military officials, and teachers in a fair and balanced manner, while maintaining the needed balance between sources of revenue, the actual cost of the wage hike, and monetary and financial stability,” it said.
Speaker Nabih Berri has called for a session Wednesday to vote on the recommendations submitted by the parliamentary committee on the best ways to finance the salary scale.
The committee has suggested reducing the financing of the wage increase from $1.9 billion to $1.2 billon, a proposal that infuriated civil servants and public school teachers, who called for a mass rally Wednesday near the Parliament to press their demands.
The Future bloc also argued that passing the new wage hike should be associated with a series of reforms in the public sector to “enhance accountability and transparency and contribute to stopping waste and idleness and restore the state’s role and prestige.”
Additionally, the movement denounced the recent spate of Israeli violations against the Lebanese border, the latest of which was the removal of cement barriers and the uprooting of two trees about 10 meters in the southern Lebanese village of Labbouneh Monday.
The Future Movement also condemned the recent statement made by a senior Iranian official describing south Lebanon as Iran’s first line of defense.
“The movement condemns the inaction from the Lebanese Foreign Ministry in the face of the statement made by the consultant of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Yahya Rahim Safavi,” it said, adding that such a statement “would result in dangerous developments that would affect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”