Naharnet

Suleiman, Gemayel and 7 Ministers Meet over Cabinet Mechanism, Reject Baabda Vacuum

Former President Michel Suleiman and seven cabinet ministers met on Wednesday at Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel's residence in Sin el-Fil to discuss the controversial decision-making mechanism of the cabinet, rejecting the ongoing vacuum at the presidency.

Gemayel said after the talks: “The vacancy at the Baabda Palace would not have persisted had it not been for the coup against the constitution.”

The gatherers voiced their support for Prime Minister Tammam Salam's efforts “that are aimed at creating a productive atmosphere at cabinet.”

“The election of a president will restore normal functioning to institutions as he is the guarantor of Lebanon's unity, entity, and institutions,” added Gemayel.

“The current mechanism at cabinet was approved by all and it has facilitated government. We are therefore now creating problems out of nothing,” said the Kataeb leader.

He stressed the need to continue with the current mechanism until the election of a president.

Before the meeting, Suleiman met with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki.

The meeting of the grouping is the second in less than a week. It brought together in addition to Suleiman, Kataeb MP Sami Gemayel, and Ministers Butros Harb, Alice Chabtini, Samir Moqbel, Ramzi Jreij, Abdul Motleb al-Hennawi and Alain Hakim.

Former minister Khalil Hrawi also attended the talks.

The same ministers and Michel Pharaon, who was not present on Wednesday for being abroad, met at Suleiman's residence in Yarze last week.

The grouping opposes the changes on the mechanism called for by Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

This formula, which requires the unanimous support from all the ministers on the cabinet decisions, was adopted after the government assumed the authorities of the head of state in accordance with the constitution following the end of Suleiman's tenure in May last year.

But Salam wants to amend the mechanism after several cabinet members began exercising veto power, stalling several projects.

G.K./M.T.


Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/168978