Aoun to Discuss 'Sectarianism, Senate' with Leaders, Govt. to Tackle Key Issues
President Michel Aoun intends to invite the country's top political leaders to a meeting in Baabda next week while the government is preparing to address important issues during the Wednesday Cabinet session, media reports said on Sunday.
“Aoun intends to invite the leaders of the parties represented in government to a consultative meeting in Baabda and the presidential palace staff have started preparing for it,” the reports said.
The meeting is aimed at “discussing the previous phase and its obstacles as well as the upcoming phase and the means to reactivate the work of state institutions,” the daily said.
The conferees will “discuss the pending Taef Accord articles, especially in terms of abolishing political sectarianism as a prelude to creating a Senate,” ad-Diyar added.
They will also tackle “vital projects that need to be executed” and will address “the rifts that were caused by the electoral law” negotiations, the newspaper said.
“The president will put the leaders of the parties in the picture of his vision and reform ideas for the upcoming years of his tenure,” ad-Diyar added, noting that Speaker Nabih Berri “will contribute to President Aoun's efforts.”
The Cabinet will meanwhile convene on Wednesday to discuss an agenda consisted of 67 items, topped by the Energy Ministry's call for tenders that is aimed at renting power generation ships, al-Mustaqbal newspaper said.
The government is also preparing to tackle a host of key projects and laws in the upcoming period, most importantly “an economic plan, state budget, electricity, new administrative, diplomatic and judicial appointments, and an anti-corruption plan,” the daily added.
These preparations come a few days after Parliament approved a new electoral law following months of political wrangling and several years of political stalemate.
The new law paves the way for the first parliamentary elections in nine years. Parliament had extended its term twice since the last elections in 2009.
Under the agreement, the current parliament's term will be extended once again, but this time for just 11 months to prepare for elections under the new rules in May 2018.
The new law replaces the existing winner-takes-all voting system with proportional representation and reduces the number of electoral districts.