Suleiman Arrives in Australia, Derides Calls Asking Him to Sign $5.9 Billion Decreeإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman on Sunday wondered whether the president of the republic was “supposed to practice his powers by signing a decree, without having the right to appoint a head for the Higher Judicial Council,” in reference to calls asking him to sign a decree approving the $5.9 billion spending bill proposed by government should the parliament fail to adopt it.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Australia on an official visit, the president said he was still studying all the aspects of the issue, noting that he has not taken a “final stance, although the door is still open for parliament to resolve this issue.”
Suleiman has been at loggerheads with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun over the appointment of a new head for the Higher Judicial Council. Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has tried to mediate between the two leaders to no avail.
“The lawmakers must practice their duties as to discussions and reaching solutions, and we must await parliament’s decision, especially in light of the essential remarks voiced by the finance committee on the bill,” Suleiman said.
Asked about fears that the 2013 parliamentary elections might not occur on time, the president stressed that “the elections will take place on the constitutional dates, whatever the adopted law may be.”
Suleiman called for endorsing a law based on the proportional representation system, saying that was “the only way to curb sectarian alignments.”
He noted, however, that he would respect the decision of the parliamentary majority “within the framework of the democratic game.”
Answering another question, Suleiman ruled out a return to a wave of political assassinations in the country.
The president declined to discuss the recent attempt on Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in detail “before the end of the ongoing investigations,” but he did not play down the gravity of the incident which he described as “ugly.”