Cabinet Fails Anew to Agree on Work Mechanism but 'Not Facing Collapse'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The cabinet on Tuesday failed for the second time to reach an agreement over a mechanism regulating the government’s work during the ongoing period of presidential vacuum, despite a “positive” atmosphere.
“The situations outside the cabinet will not lead to a political settlement anytime soon but this has not reached the extent of forcing the government's collapse,” MTV quoted an unnamed minister as saying, in comments related to the current negotiations between the Change and Reform bloc and the al-Mustaqbal movement.
“On the face of things, they appear as constitutional viewpoints, but in reality the reason is political,” another minister said.
According to MTV, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil of the Free Patriotic Movement suggested that the ministers must also have a say along with the premier in the issue of calling the cabinet to convene and in preparing the agendas of sessions, “which brings things back to square one.”
As for the decrees, “the March 8 camp said they must be signed by the 24 ministers while the March 14 forces made several proposals, including the signatures of two thirds” of the ministers, MTV said.
Briefing reporters after the cabinet session, Information Minister Ramzi Jreij said “the cabinet will address issues unanimously and in a spirit of collective responsibility that was consolidated during the ministers' interventions.”
“The cabinet will perform its duties according to the Constitution's stipulations and in a consensual way, out of its appreciation of the current political circumstances and to speed up the election of a new president,” Jreij added.
On Monday, Prime Minister Tammam Salam stressed that the Constitution is “clear” and “indisputable” regarding the powers of the government during a presidential vacuum, noting that “the PM is the one who asks cabinet to convene and prepares the session agenda.”
The cabinet had convened Friday for the first time after the end of ex-president Michel Suleiman's term. The parliament has failed to elect a successor to Suleiman -- whose six-year term ended on May 25 -- despite having held five electoral sessions for that purpose.