Report: Aoun Mulls Letter to Parliament on PM Designation, Mustaqbal Throws ‘Delay’ Blame on Bassil
President Michel Aoun is reportedly mulling over the possibility of sending a letter to the parliament to address an “open-ended designation period” of PM Saad Hariri in light of the delay in forming a new government, the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat daily reported Friday.
Although political forces acknowledge the President's constitutional right to address the parliament asking it to deem “the appropriate thing”, constitutional experts told the daily “parliament is not authorized to overthrow the mandate of Hariri, nor is anyone prepared to engage the country in a constitutional conflict.”
Experts believe that “Aoun’s message, if it happens, is aimed at pressuring Hariri to expedite the formation under his own terms and the terms of his (Aoun’s) Free Patriotic Movement team,” said the daily.
A Mustaqbal Movement official noted the “president's right to send a letter to any side he deems appropriate, conditionally it falls in his jurisdiction,” but he told the daily in a statement “merely, its a waste of time. It will change nothing in the designation of the PM.”
He added “Aoun should address a letter to his son-in-law, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil (head of the FPM) asking him to make concessions and stop the obstruction. It is the shortest way to solve the crisis.”
Shall the content of the “letter” “overstep” the jurisdictions of Hariri, it could “rupture” the presidential settlement, said the daily.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Elie Ferzli (member of the Strong Lebanon Parliamentary bloc led by Bassil) said: “The President has a constitutional right to send a letter to parliament. Then, the Speaker (Nabih Berri) must put this letter for discussion at a parliament meeting he calls for.”
For his part, constitutional expert former MP Salah Hnein told the newspaper: “No one has the authority to withdraw the mandate of the PM-designate. Although the President is not a partner in the designation process, but he is a partner in the formation of the government in agreement with PM.
“A message to the parliament aims to pressure Hariri, while the President also bears half of the responsibility in this area,” he said.