Report: President, Prime Minister Not in Debate over Powers
President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri are “not in a confrontation over powers,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.
“The President has done his duty in his interventions in the Cabinet, and the mere return to Articles 49 and 50 of the Constitution makes things easier," unnamed sources close to Baabda told the daily.
The President “has sworn to the Constitution and does not want to override the powers of anyone. He exercised his powers from a national perspective towards an existential issue that does not relate to the subject of dissociation policy,” the sources told the daily.
“The subject at hand is linked to a Lebanese national interest related to the fate of a very large number of displaced people. It has reached dangerous levels as they share land, water, electricity and work. Lebanese unemployment has reached more than %43. They have to return to their homeland which is safe now. International bodies are providing assistance,” said the sources.
They emphasized that the “issue is not related to the powers of anyone. Discussions with the Syrians won’t go beyond the issue of refugees return. We will not discuss any other file.”
According to information obtained from security sources, the number of displaced people in Lebanon has reached 2.285 million, said al-Joumhouria.
President Michel Aoun on Thursday ended the Cabinet's first session after the ordinary agenda was discussed and after a war of words erupted among ministers over the thorny issue of the relation with Syria.
Aoun has stressed the need for the return of Syrian refugees to their country without linking the issue to the political solution, and said that he was the one who decides the country’s higher interest.
The debate over Lebanon’s relations with Syria has triggered a row over the constitutional powers of the president and the prime minister in outlining Lebanon’s policies.