Constitutional Council Head Lashes Out after Criticismإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Constitutional Council chief Judge Issam Suleiman has hit back at criticism against the Council's ruling that revoked a controversial tax law aimed at funding a new wage scale for civil servants and the armed forces.
“The ruling reflects our opinion on the tax law, and I'm not willing to respond to every person who voices a stance in this regard,” Suleiman said in remarks published Tuesday by el-Sharq newspaper.
“The ruling has become in force and binding for all authorities and it does not accept any reconsideration. If they are cornered, let them search for a solution to the problem that they have created instead of attacking the Constitutional Council's decision,” Suleiman added.
He said the “solution” lies in “approving the state budget and the necessary auditing, because their absence for more than ten years opens the door for the waste of public money and the spread of corruption across all the joints of the state.”
“The ruling that revoked the tax law is binding and all state institutions must abide by it,” Suleiman stressed.
Told that Justice Minister Salim Jreissati has reportedly described the Council's ruling as a “heresy,” Suleiman reminded that President Michel Aoun, “the country's highest authority, has lauded the Constitutional Council's ruling.”
“The ball is now in the court of the executive and legislative authorities and they shoulder their responsibilities by implementing the ruling, and the justice minister, who was a member of the Constitutional Council, knows this,” he added.
Suleiman also noted that the Council's ruling is “totally in harmony with the stance of President Michel Aoun, who has linked the approval of the new wage scale to the approval of the state budget.”
“Those attacking the Council's ruling have not read its text thoroughly,” Suleiman added, noting that the annulment decision was not based on “the article related to banks.”
“We do not care about political vengeance. We have performed our duties in line with the national interest, which obliges us to preserve the sacred public funds... Our conscience is clear and we are not afraid of political punishment,” Suleiman went on to say.
Speaker Nabih Berri had stressed Monday that legislation is the responsibility of Parliament, while noting that the Constitutional Council's ruling “was not brought by the angels.”
“Let's not forget that Parliament is constitutionally in charge of drafting laws and that restrictions cannot be imposed on it, unless the violation of the Constitution has become a normal thing, seeing as the Constitutional Council's ruling was not brought by the angels,” Berri said.