Hariri shakes hands with Sarraf during a Cabinet session in Baabda, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Cabinet will send the 2018 draft state budget to Parliament next week for final ratification ahead of parliamentary elections and international donor conferences in support of Lebanon, Speaker Nabih Berri said Wednesday.Local media reported that Prime Minister Saad Hariri had called Berri to inform him that the Cabinet would refer the draft budget to Parliament within five days.Of the 999 candidates registered with the Interior Ministry by Tuesday midnight, the deadline to register for the parliamentary elections, there were 111 women, a record number compared with the previous legislative elections in 2009 when just 12 women were among 706 candidates.The 2018 draft budget figured high during a Cabinet session Wednesday with President Michel Aoun calling for the fiscal plan to be wrapped up quickly and Hariri saying that a special Cabinet meeting would be held next week to approve it and send it to Parliament for final ratification.
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