Officials Start Signing Decree Merging Officers Seniority Decree with Promotions

Officials on Wednesday started signing a new decree merging the disputed officers seniority decree with the stalled promotions decree, TV networks said.

“As part of the solution that was agreed on in yesterday's tripartite meeting at the Baabda Palace, the promotions and the seniority decrees have been combined and the relevant officials have started signing the new decree,” LBCI television reported.

It said the new decree will carry the signatures of President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf.

MTV confirmed that Khalil has signed the decree.

The seniority decree grants one-year seniority to a number of officers. Speaker Nabih Berri was infuriated after it was signed by Aoun, Hariri and Sarraf without being referred to the finance minister to place his own signature on it.

Berri and Khalil had insisted that the decree should have also carried the finance minister's signature. Aoun and his aides argued that the decree did not require Khalil's signature because it did not entail any “financial burden,” a point Berri and officials close to him had argued against.

The officers in question were undergoing their first year of officer training at the Military Academy when Syrian forces ousted Aoun's military government from Baabda in 1990. They were suspended by the pro-Damascus authorities until 1993 before they resumed their officer training course as second-year cadets.

Source: Naharnet

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