President Michel Suleiman reiterated his rejection to sign a decree that would legitimize the $5.9 billion spending bill of Premier Najib Miqati’s government to avoid subjecting it to an appeal.
In remarks to Ad-Diyar daily published Wednesday, Suleiman said that the parliamentary finance and budget committee had made several important remarks on the bill.
The parliament should assume its responsibility in adopting it, he told the newspaper, dubbing his approval as “unconstitutional.”
The bill seeks to legitimize the extra-budgetary spending made by the government in 2011. The parliament failed to approve it over differences between the March 8 majority and March 14 opposition forces.
The president is rejecting to resort to article 58 of the constitution which allows him to issue a bill deemed urgent by the government after the failure of the legislature to approve it within forty days following its transfer to the chamber of deputies and its inclusion on the agenda of the discussions.
Also in remarks published Wednesday, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi said he would propose discussion of the spending bill from outside the agenda of the cabinet that is set to convene at Baabda Palace.
Al-Safadi discussed the issue with Suleiman on Monday to find a legal solution to the spending.
He also appeased fears about the possible failure of the government to pay the salaries of state employees. “I have ideas that allow us to pay the wages legally.”
The minister said the draft state budget has been finalized, expressing readiness to propose it to the cabinet within 20 days as he had promised at the end of the three-day parliamentary session aimed at assessing the government’s performance.
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/38024|