Saade said that so many MPs left the chamber during debate and voting that Parliament failed to meet quorum during the votes for several articles. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The future of Lebanon's first state budget in 12 years looked uncertain just days after it was passed by Parliament. The Kataeb Party – Lebanon's self-styled opposition party – plans to challenge the new fiscal plan at the Constitutional Council if it can muster the support of five additional MPs, a party official told The Daily Star Friday.The party will again need to muster an extra five votes to challenge the 2017 budget.The Daily Star sought to obtain comment from the five MPs who joined Kataeb's last appeal.Kataeb claims that the budget passed late Thursday night violates several articles of the Constitution.Article 87 requires Parliament to approve the previous year's audit before passing the next year's budget. For example, in 2016, Parliament was supposed to vote to accept 2015's audit before passing 2017's budget. If Kataeb manages to corral enough votes to challenge the budget law, the same court will have a chance to weigh in on the party's constitutional complaints directly – and perhaps send Parliament back to the budget drawing board.
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