File - Newly-elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun, right, walks next to Lebanese Parliament speaker Nabih Berri, left, as they leave the parliament building, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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Cabinet's last session this year was marred Tuesday by a widening rift between President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri over the signing of a decree promoting a number of Army officers who served with the former when he was the Army commander in the late 1980s.The decree, promoting around 200 Army officers – all Christians except for 15 Muslims – who served with Aoun in the late 1980s, was approved by the Cabinet after it had been signed by Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, giving Berri fuel to further escalate his opposition to the move.Although it was not listed on the agenda, the Cabinet endorsed the decree, deciding to promote the officers who graduated from the military academy in 1994 and advancing their seniority and rank by one year.The Cabinet session witnessed a heated argument between Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf, one of the ministers loyal to Aoun, and Khalil, after Sarraf said that not every decree on financial spending requires the finance minister's signature.Hariri promised to hold parliamentary elections, set for May 6, 2018, on time.
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