Lebanon's Prime Minister Tammam Salam chairs a cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail, Wednesday, April 27, 2016. (The Daily Star/Dalati&Nohra, HO)
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The Free Patriotic Movement Thursday reacted swiftly to the holding of a Cabinet session by questioning the legitimacy of the government and warning against attempts to pass any decrees in the absence of FPM ministers.Ignoring a boycott by the FPM's ministers over military appointments, Prime Minister Tammam Salam chaired a Cabinet session that took some minor decisions, but deferred discussion of divisive issues apparently to avert a new split.The FPM ministers' boycott also appeared to have led to a two-week freeze in Cabinet meetings. Information Minister Ramzi Joreige said the next session will be held on Sept. 8, hoping that all ministers will attend. However, the four-hour session was marred by a walkout by Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon who argued that ministers discussed important issues in the absence of the FPM ministers, and their Tashnag allied minister and the Kataeb Party. The two FPM ministers, Bassil and Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, did not attend the session.However, the two ministers of Hezbollah, which is a key ally of the FPM, attended after attempts to convince Salam to postpone the session were unsuccessful.Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan, one of the two Hezbollah ministers, initially refused to discuss the party's decision not to show solidarity with the FPM ministers.
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