Lebanon News

Cabinet will 'definitely' reconvene next week: report

File - Prime Minister Tammam Salam. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam will call for a Cabinet session for July 2 to end three weeks of paralysis, An-Nahar newspaper claimed Monday.

Citing ministerial sources, the report said that Salam will “definitely” call Thursday for a session one week later.

The Daily Star's political sources said Monday Salam would not wait too long to call for a session, but could not confirm that a session would be scheduled for next week.

Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi had ruled out that Cabinet would convene soon.

“It is clear that Premier Salam wants the Cabinet to convene shortly, but I rule out a Cabinet session for this week, probably next week,” Salam told The Daily Star Monday.

The Cabinet hasn't met since June 4 due to a pledge by Free Patriotic Movement ministers to prevent it from passing any decisions until appointments for retiring security officials are discussed.

Azzi, one of the three ministers representing the Kataeb Party in the Government, said he had proposed a solution for the Cabinet crisis, which calls for holding three sessions every week.

One session would be to continue discussion of the 2015 draft budget, another to tackle political and security issues, and a third to study topics on the agenda.

“This proposal could help break the Cabinet deadlock,” Azzi added.

A report by Al-Liwaa newspaper Monday said Salam would decide on the session’s date after he meets with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri this week.

Berri told visitors Sunday that he backed Salam’s right to call for a session, saying the “obstruction” should not go on.

The Cabinet’s last two weekly sessions were cancelled, and Monday's reports indicate this week's session has also been scrapped.

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, who is loyal to FPM chief MP Michel Aoun, said Monday he expected Salam to call for a session soon.

"It is his call, and when he knows that a political agreement exists he will convene the Cabinet," Bou Saab told reporters as he toured a school in Beirut where Grade 12 official exams were being held.

The FPM's critics accuse it of trying to pressure Cabinet to support Aoun's son-in-law, Brig. Gen. Shamel Roukoz, the head of the Army Commando Unit, as Army commander.





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