Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
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A Cabinet session set to tackle the contentious 2017 draft state budget was adjourned Monday due to a lack of quorum, in a rare episode that launched a volley of questions and speculation over the reasons that led to a simultaneous no-show of 10 ministers from a range of political parties.Only 18 of the 29 ministers and Hariri showed up at the Grand Serail for a Cabinet session to resume discussions on the draft budget. Hariri reportedly waited an hour for the missing ministers before canceling the session."By adjourning the session and not waiting any longer for the late ministers, Prime Minister Hariri wanted to send a message that he will not tolerate dilly-dallying in dealing with Cabinet sessions and that he expects the ministers to be more serious," a ministerial source close to the premier told The Daily Star. Political sources also said they saw "no political connotations" behind the absence of 10 ministers who are of "different political stripes". Hariri has scheduled three Cabinet sessions – for Monday, Wednesday and Friday – to wrap up discussions on the draft budget.
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