Disputes Delay Appointments to Wed. as Govt. OKs Saudi Grant, Renews Terms of Salameh’s Deputiesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The cabinet on Monday postponed appointing Internal Security Forces acting chief Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous and acting Prosecutor General Samir Hammoud as full-term civil servants following a dispute that prompted the suspension of the meeting for around an hour.
However, the council of ministers managed to approve several key resolutions after the session was resumed, including the renewal of the terms of the deputy central bank governors, accepting the $3 billion Saudi donation to the army and extending the contracts signed with Global Telecom Holding (formerly known as Orascom Telecom) and Zain (formerly known as MTC Group) -- the firms that run the state-owned mobile phone operators Touch and Alfa.
According to Information Minister Ramzi Jreij, discussions over the rest of appointments were postponed to a session that will be held on Wednesday.
As Monday’s session got underway, the ministers of the March 8 forces rejected approving the pending administrative appointments in a “partial” manner.
“President Michel Suleiman insisted that the security appointments must happen tonight in order to implement the approved security plan,” LBCI TV reported.
But “Hizbullah and a number of March 8 ministers insisted that the appointments must be approved as one package and not separately,” LBCI added.
And after media reports said the session was suspended due to a clash over the file of oil exploration, the TV network pointed out that the meeting was stopped before embarking on the topic.
“Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous is supposed to be appointed as full-term commander of the ISF,” Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said before the session, as Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq stressed that “the appointments will be approved today.”
LBCI had reported before the resumption of the session that Health Minister Wael Abou Faour and Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan carried out contacts to “resolve the dispute and approve the appointments of Basbous and Hammoud tonight.”
"The cabinet is a consensus cabinet and everything in it must be addressed through consensus, including appointments,” Hajj Hassan, who represents Hizbullah in the government, said.
"We in Hizbullah are facilitating things and the issue is inclined to be resolved," he noted.
Abou Faour earlier announced that the cabinet would debate the issue of the oil exploration decrees, amid expected disputes over contracts and maritime oil exploration blocs.