President Michel Suleiman expressed “disgust” on Saturday over the pressure exerted on him to sign the $5.9 billion extra-budgetary spending bill.
Suleiman told al-Akhbar newspaper that “even if holding onto his stances cost him his post, he doesn’t care.”
The president’s recent stance regarding the extra-budgetary spending is due to the absence of any other solution for the “paralysis that is affecting the state institutions because of the lack of money,” sources told the daily.
Sources close to Suleiman told An Nahar newspaper that Suleiman informed the cabinet the he is ready to sign the $5.9 billion spending bill if the March-14 led opposition blocked the approval of the $3.12 billion draft, which covers the expenses of the first half of 2012 at the parliament.
Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s sources told al-Akhbar newspaper that there are “serious” ongoing discussions to resolve the spending crisis.
Media reports said that the president is ready to sign the $5.9 billion extra-budgetary spending bill if it was modified and if the cabinet approved the $3.12 billion draft that covers the expenses of the first half of 2012.
However, Suleiman has refused before to sign a $5.9 billion extra-budgetary spending bill over constitutional violations as it includes irregularities that should be settled by the parliament through the adoption of the reservations expressed by the legislature’s spending and budget committee.
But Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun accused him of forcing the government to violate the constitution by spending illegally in an attempt to appease the March 14 opposition in its demands to find a comprehensive solution to the extra-budgetary spending made since 2005, the last time Lebanon had an official state budget.
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