The Change and Reform bloc attended Monday’s cabinet session after mulling the participation of its minister to address the recent security incidents across Lebanon.
The bloc, led by Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun, held a meeting before the session that convened at the Baabda Palace on Monday afternoon.
A ministerial source told As Safir newspaper that the decision to boycott the last government meeting was to protest the ministers’ failure to support Energy Minister Jebran Bassil’s proposal regarding the full-time employment of Electricite du Liban’s contract workers.
Bassil has previously proposed to allow 700 contract workers to stand for an official exam, out of some 2,500 employees, while the rest would become employees at private companies under a three-month probation period as the company can’t contain all of the employees.
However, lawmakers approved a draft law proposed by the joint parliamentary committees, tasked with resolving the EDL contract workers’ crisis, to include all of them in a selection process for permanent employment by raising hands, without discussing the minister’s suggestion.
Bassil accused Berri of “violating the protocol,” arguing that around 80 percent of them belong to non-Christian sects and most of them support Berri, who is a Shiite.
Prime Minister Najib Miqati told As Safir daily that the session will convene if the quorum was available, even if the FPM ministers were absent.
A ministerial source told An Nahar that escalation will force the cabinet to resign which isn’t “in the FPM’s interest.”
According to al-Liwaa newspaper, ministers from several blocs were keen to return back to Lebanon to attend the government session as Progressive Socialist Party Minister Alaeddine Terro’s absence from Tuesday’s meeting, for being outside the country, was the reason behind its failure to convene.
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