Salam chairs Cabinet session Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. (The Daily Star/Dalati&Nohra, HO)
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The Cabinet faces a crucial test of its fragile solidarity when it meets Tuesday to tackle key issues, including the Future Movement's demand to refer the case of former Information Minister Michel Samaha to the Judicial Council. With threats by Future ministers to resign or walk out of the Cabinet session if their demand is not met, and Hezbollah ministers and their March 8 allies strongly opposing referring Samaha's case to the Judicial Council, Prime Minister Tammam Salam faces a tough challenge that could threaten the reactivation of the Cabinet, a week after it smoothly passed important appointments. Hezbollah opposes referring Samaha's case to the Judicial Council," a March 8 minister told The Daily Star Monday night. Information Minister Ramzi Joreige, one of three ministers representing the Kataeb Party, said he was unsure if the Cabinet would be able to endorse the demand to refer Samaha's case to the Judicial Council in the absence of consensus over this sensitive issue.The Kataeb ministers along with the Future and March 14 ministers support referring Samaha's case to the Judicial Council.However, Machnouk said that the debate over Samaha's case could open the door to many possibilities for the Future ministers, including withdrawal or shunning the Cabinet.
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