Jumblat Reportedly Begins Efforts to Resolve Financial Disputeإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has embarked on an initiative aimed at finding a settlement in the row over governmental spending, MTV reported on Monday.
“PSP's sources did not deny the presence of an initiative by Jumblat to resolve the financial dispute, but things have just started and they need further efforts,” the TV network reported.
MTV also quoted sources close to President Michel Suleiman as saying that “the president is neither an arbitrator not a party, and he was not elected as the country's consensus president in order to sign a controversial decree such as the one related to the issue of spending.”
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 by the Free Patrioic Movement 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 FPM 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.
Suleiman’s sources has told As Safir daily that the president’s legal experts were studying the amendments that the parliamentary finance and budget committee introduced to the bill referred to it by the cabinet.
The sources hinted that the president might not resort to article 58 of the constitution which allows him to approve an urgent draft law if parliament fails to take a decision on it within 40 days of its inclusion on the agenda of the legislature.
Parliament failed twice to endorse the 2011 extra-budgetary spending bill that was referred to it by the government over a dispute between the March 8 majority and the March 14 opposition which has conditioned its approval to the legalization of spending made by the previous cabinets of ex-PMs Fouad Saniora and Saad Hariri between the years 2005-2010.