Suleiman Rejects Signing $5.9 Billion Bill, Says Elections to be Held on Timeإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman shrugged off on Thursday the pressure exerted on him by Hizbullah, Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement to sign the $5.9 billion extra-budgetary spending bill.
In remarks to reporters based in Baabda Palace, Suleiman reiterated his rejection to sign the bill that is set to legalize the spending of Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s government .
He stressed that the bill includes constitutional violations and that the parliament should discuss the draft-law taking into consideration the amendments introduced by the legislative finance and budget committee.
Asked about his latest virtual dispute with FPM chief Michel Aoun, Suleiman said he never begged to be chosen as head of state. “Let the politicians from now on not choose a consensual president,” he told the journalists.
Suleiman and Aoun rattled sabers last week when the FPM leader rejected a consensual president and said on his party’s Facebook page that the future president should lead a parliamentary bloc rather than beg at the door of some ministers.
The president snapped back on Twitter, saying a consensual president does not beg for the presidency and on the contrary, everyone asks him to accept the post of president.
The journalists’ questions also focused on the assassination attempt against Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and the ensuing dispute between the March 8 forces and the March 14 opposition coalition on the so-called telecom data.
Suleiman said the Lebanese should wait for the results of the probe instead of throwing accusations at each other, adding he supported giving the data to security agencies to help them in their investigation.
He revealed that the draft-law on the telecom data was the subject of a revision.
Suleiman also bragged in his remarks to the reporters that he is “the first Lebanese president to implement the Taef Accord without Syrian help” when asked about his authorities.
On the parliamentary elections, the president said the 2013 polls would be held on time and insisted that the winner-takes-all law of 1960 should be amended so as to allow Lebanese expatriates to vote.
Several Lebanese parties are calling for the adoption of a draft-law that divides Lebanon into larger districts and is based on proportional representation despite the rejection of al-Mustaqbal bloc leader ex-PM Saad Hariri and Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat.
“Whether under the 1960 law or another one, the elections will be held on time,” he stressed.