Naharnet

Berri Says Salam Cornered by Cabinet's Followed Mechanism

Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Thursday that Prime Minister Tammam Salam was trapped in an “unconstitutional mechanism” while he was seeking consensus among cabinet members on thorny issues.

Salam “sought to find an agreement among ministers on government sessions agendas before the cabinet even convened,” Berri said in comments published in al-Akhbar newspaper.

He pointed out that the PM “was keen to attain the ministers' approval on all decrees before announcing the cabinet sessions agenda... but he failed in his endeavor.”

PM Salam insisted recently that he will not call for a cabinet session this week over differences on extra-budgetary spending and a decree on Lebanese University’s contract professors.

Cabinet decrees require the approval of its 24 ministers in accordance with an agreement reached last month in light of the vacuum at Baabda Palace.

However, Berri described Salam in his remarks as “patient and sincere in dealing with his ministers.”

Last week, the cabinet failed to approve the LU decree over differences between the representatives of different parties on the appointment of deans.

Disagreements on the spending from outside the state budget have also left the fate of salaries of civil servants unclear.

Lebanon has been without an official budget since 2005. The cabinet should allocate the extra spending.

H.K.

M.T.


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