Aoun’s Ministers Send First Warning to Miqati after Refusing to Attend Cabinet Sessionإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Cabinet postponed its session on Friday due to the lack of quorum after the Change and Reform ministers did not attend the meeting, which was expected to be held at the Baabda palace.
The ministers chose not to attend the session because of they are reportedly upset over the way they have been treated by the government, reported OTV.
It added that the ministers’ decision stemmed from their position from the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, even though the session was not expected to tackle this matter.
Energy Minister Jebran Bassil meanwhile told Agence France Presse that the Change and Reform ministers’ actions are a “first warning to their objection to the government’s performance.”
He refused to clarify if the stance is response to Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s recent hints that he may step down if the government failed to fund the STL.
“We have other issues that are more important than the tribunal,” added the minister.
Furthermore, he revealed that the Change and Reform bloc will hold a meeting, headed by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, on Saturday to announce a clear stand from the governmental situation.
Culture Minister Gaby Layyoun reiterated Bassil’s positions, saying that the Change and Reform ministers are part of the government because they are seeking to implement a project that all the Lebanese are awaiting.
“Recently however we have not seen any efforts to ensure the success of this project, but simply attempts to obstruct it,” he told Voice of Lebanon radio.
“The people’s interests are more important than the STL. The tribunal is a secondary matter,” he stressed.
“Our resignation is possible at any moment,” he noted.
The government was expected to address the draft law on allowing expatriates from regaining their nationality, as well as laws on money laundering and tax information.
Sources close to Aoun told As Safir newspaper in remarks published on Friday that several reasons have forced the Change and Reform ministers to seriously consider resigning from the government.
“The government’s performance has not changed from the previous Hariri cabinets as demonstrated in the protection of some symbols of the previous governments and the deliberate obstruction of administrative, judicial, and diplomatic appointments,” they added.
Cabinet is expected to convene on Wednesday to address the funding of the STL, which has created tensions among the government members, as well as the rival March 8 and14 camps, with the former insisting on thwarting the funding and the latter insisting that Lebanon respect its international commitments.
MTV later reported that President Michel Suleiman held a meeting with Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil soon after the postponement of the cabinet session.