Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea voiced on Tuesday his rejection of the current conduct at parliament, saying that he “supports and opposes” granting Electricite du Liban contract workers full-time employment.
He said during a press conference at his Maarab residence: “Granting such a large number of workers full-time employment is not possible because it will lead to the bankruptcy of the state.”
“These are the factors that forced us to boycott the parliament session,” he explained.
“Everyone knows that we enjoy good ties with Speaker Nabih Berri and we have the greatest respect for him. Contacts are always ongoing with him, even during the worst moments due to his openness,” he remarked.
The LF leader noted however that matters are being conducted in an “unacceptable” manner at parliament, saying that some draft laws are granted greater attention than others, which are soon forgotten.
“Discussions on the employment of EDL contract employees began in a sound manner and the proposals we made were not based on sectarian interests,” Geagea said.
“We decided to boycott the session in protest against how issues are being managed,” he continued.
Why should some issues be approved overnight and granted so much attention, while others are disregarded? he wondered.
He also criticized the manner in which lawmakers vote on projects, hinting at a certain degree of disorganization at parliament.
“The voting took place in a suspicious manner and this does not fall in the interest of the contract employees,” he said.
“With all due respect to Berri, the country cannot be run in such a manner,” he stated.
“Why don’t all state employees be granted full-time employment?” he asked.
Berri suspended on Tuesday a parliamentary session for lack of quorum after Christian blocs boycotted it over the approval of EDL contract workers’ full-employment.
“The boycott is based on political reasons and not sectarian ones,” Berri said.
Change and Reform bloc, Phalange party and Lebanese Forces lawmakers took the decision to boycott the morning session to protest the draft law.
Addressing Syrian security forces’ temporary kidnapping of General Security members from Buqaiaa on Monday, Geagea condemned the General Security’s statement on the incident, which he implied made it seem that they were justifying the violation.
Perhaps the penal law should be change to accommodate the General Security’s description of the incident in which it said that Syrian security forces “escorted” the Lebanese security forces to Syria, said the LF chief sarcastically.
“Are they afraid of saying kidnapped?” wondered Geagea.
He urged President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati to take firmer measures in this matter, such as summoning the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon and even expelling him and recalling the Lebanese ambassador in Damascus.
“The citizens must feel that the state is overseeing their safety,” he stressed.
Syrian security forces infiltrated on Monday the northern region of Wadi Khaled and detained two general security members for an hour, several media outlets reported.
LBC TV said around 20 Syrian soldiers opened fire at Jisr al-Qmar, which damaged the customs building and a number of cars, and continued marching toward the area.
Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that the Syrian forces threatened the Lebanese security forces, accusing them of allowing gunmen to open fire at Syrian territories.
LBC pointed out that the Syrian forces detained a member of the Lebanese customs and two general security members and hit them before dragging two of them into Syrian territories for an hour.
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