Lebanon News

Parliamentary panel looks into decentralization law

BEIRUT: Parliament's Administration and Justice Committee discussed a draft law Monday that aims to decentralize administrative power, as stipulated in the Taif Accord. MP Robert Ghanem said the controversy over the measure stems from its connection to the electoral law and the laws regulating municipal affairs.

The draft is based on a study that was funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Lebanon. The proposed legislation will be studied by a committee formed of law experts and university professors, Ghanem said.

"We will hold a joint session to discuss the committee's recommendations before redrafting the law and setting a mechanism to implement it," Ghanem said.

The MP also said that the draft law should be backed by a political decision.

"Otherwise," he warned, "it won't be implemented."

Meanwhile, MPs Ismail Sukkarieh, Qassem Abdel-Aziz and Assem Araiji addressed a question to the Cabinet - through Speaker Nabih Berri -  concerning the problems facing the country's healthcare sector. The MPs also presented a list of possible solutions.

"Citizens are complaining about the increase in hospitalization costs at private hospitals and the depreciation of the quality of the service offered in public hospitals," the statement said.

The MPs urged the government to determine the rights and duties laid out in state contracts with private hospitals. They also want the government to "monitor the quality of service and the squandering of money at public hospitals." - The Daily Star





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