Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Oct. 2, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Tuesday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Government likely to suspend salary raise until after [parliamentary] elections?

Hezbollah joins Bkirki: No to 1960 [election] law

Fatfat: Ongoing communication between Geagea and Jumblatt

Doubts loomed over the salary raise as the deficit dominated all government discussions.

Meanwhile, the private sector called for the suspension of the salary scale hike until after the parliamentary elections for fear that it might lead to monetary and economic instability the impact of which Lebanon could not cope with.

Although parliamentary committees, as well as parliamentary blocs and their representatives especially Christians moved forward toward finding new formulas for the election law, the widening gap between the two political teams – March 8 and March 14 – indicates that the parliamentary elections are very unlikely to be held on time, even though President Michel Sleiman insists on holding the polls on time.

Significantly, Hezbollah announced Monday, on behalf of MP Mohammad Raad, that the "1960 [election] law has gone," and that the party supports the Orthodox proposal.


Government in dilemma after private sector’s warning and decision by teachers to strike

As the joint committees continue Tuesday to mull the election draft laws amid the ongoing disputes over them, Cabinet will convene Wednesday amid dilemmas the government faces after the private sector warned against the consequences of approving a pay scale hike [for public employees] and the decision by teachers to strike if they do not get a salary raise.

While government circles said the government was mulling the funding needed to pay this obligation, the Cabinet agenda did not include discussions on the pay scale.


Refugee influx into Akkar continues ... in the presence of Assad military reinforcements

Future [bloc]: Two nos to proportional representation and Orthodox proposal

The mood remained tense after a political and media uproar over an election law.

As the private sector renewed its efforts [to abolish a pay scale hike], public school teachers called for a general strike and demonstrations on Oct. 10 if the government fails to refer the salary hike to Parliament.

Meanwhile, the exodus of Lebanese and Syrian families from Syrian areas into Wadi Khaled continued as officials showed a lack of interest in providing assistance or shelter to the refugees.

Local dignitaries held a meeting to discuss ways to secure the necessary assistance for the refugees, pending large-scale relief aide.

Tension continued along the border in the wake of reinforcements of Assad forces in several positions facing Akkar.

Future bloc MP Ammar Houri stressed that there are “two nos. No to proportional representation and no to the Orthodox proposal.”


Committees fill the vacuum, [skirt] proportional representation and [electoral] districts

[Telecoms] data report: Requests from agencies should not harm confidentiality

Private sector continues efforts to separate salary raise from pay scale

Political and parliamentary circles rule out any breakthrough in the dispute over an election law as the joint committees resume debate on the issue Tuesday and Thursday.

Parliamentary sources told An-Nahar that things have not progressed at the Grand Serail given the difficult discussions regarding the draft electoral law at Bkirki and in the corridors of the March 8 and March 14 camps, between these two coalitions and MP Walid Jumblatt.

The Cabinet will hold a meeting Wednesday to discuss 82 items, most prominently the report of the Lebanese delegation to France which was briefed on a mechanism to intercept phone calls.

Ministerial sources said the telecoms data issue was likely to ignite political bickering because it would establish a legal framework which would regulate eavesdropping and give security services access to telecoms data.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati told An-Nahar that the government was keen to maintain a financial balance and provide the necessary funding for the pay scale.

Mikati stressed that there shall be "no spending without funding.”





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