BEIRUT

Lebanon News

FPM to attend Cabinet session after Salam warning

Prime Minister Tammam Salam speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement ministers decided to attend Friday’s government meeting after Prime Minister Tammam Salam insisted that the Cabinet agenda remained his prerogative.

"The decision not to boycott today's Cabinet session came after talks in the final hours," a FPM parliamentary source told The Daily Star.

The source said FPM ministers would discuss a mechanism of action regarding the agenda during the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 4 p.m.

Salam had hit back at the FPM after sources said FPM ministers Gebran Bassil and Elias Bou Saab were considering boycotting Friday’s Cabinet meeting, claiming the premier had breached the Constitution.

“It is my duty, and within my constitutional power, to call a Cabinet meeting, and I set the agenda as stipulated in Article 62 of the Constitution,” Salam said in remarks published Friday.

FPM sources told The Daily Star Thursday that Bassil and Bou Saab were mulling boycotting the Cabinet meeting after Salam had refused to inform them of its agenda, claiming that the Constitution stipulates that he do so.

Salam expressed concerns that “some political parties likely have the intention to disrupt the work of the government.” He did not name them.

“Nevertheless, I'm open to talks with Cabinet ministers and political parties on a mechanism of action while sticking to the powers granted to me by the Constitution,” Salam told As-Safir.

Salam also clarified his stance on the ongoing debate on a Cabinet mechanism of action under a presidential vacuum.

“This is a precedent that had not occurred in any comprehensive, coalition government,” he said.

 

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