Hariri chats with Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil before the Cabinet session (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Cabinet Thursday averted what was anticipated to be a heated debate over an urgent draft law to extend the deadline for expatriate voter registration in the upcoming parliamentary elections by postponing discussion of the matter.A source close to Hariri said the session was fairly calm once Hariri removed the item from discussion.Bou Assi was filling the place of Information Minister Melhem Riachi, who usually reads out Cabinet's decisions to reporters. Riachi was attending a meeting with Hariri and Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury at which talks focused on the political developments and the general situation, a statement from Hariri's office said. Berri has been reportedly upset that Aoun did not seek Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil's signature for the bill already inked by the president, Hariri and Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf.At the beginning of the Cabinet session, Hariri criticized media exaggeration about the gravity of the dispute.
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