Pigeons fly near the Parliament building during a session in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Parliament Tuesday began the first of three successive legislative sessions to debate and ratify a state budget for the first time in over a decade, with lawmakers delivering low-key speeches reflecting the top leaders' "political understanding" to ensure a smooth endorsement of the country's fiscal plan.During the morning session, chaired by Speaker Nabih Berri and attended by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and a number of ministers, MPs re-elected members of Parliament's Secretariat, as well as members, rapporteurs and heads of 16 parliamentary committees.Speaking in the morning session, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, chairman of the parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee that has toiled for more than four months preparing the budget's provisions, said the budget draft law included 76 articles divided into four chapters. Reading the committee's report on the budget, he said that the committee has held 42 sessions between April 25 and Aug. 28 to work on the draft budget law, made amendments to 32 articles and canceled 10 articles. Berri adjourned the evening session at 9:25 p.m. until 11 a.m. Wednesday.
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