Miqati Asks Ministers to Revoke Firearms Licenses, Says Circumstances Not Appropriate for Civil Marriage Debateإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Tuesday demanded the revocation of firearms licenses granted to citizens, in the wake of the latest attack on the convoy of Sports and Youth Minister Faisal Karami in Tripoli.
“During the cabinet session held at the Grand Serail, Miqati asked Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn to prepare a plan for revoking firearms licenses and the licenses of vehicles with tinted windows,” MTV reported.
MTV also quoted Charbel as saying that “one of the culprits of the attack on Karami has been arrested.”
Separately, LBCI reported that Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil rejected a suggestion calling for equal power rationing between Beirut and the rest of Lebanese regions.
Earlier, Miqati noted that the electoral law proposed by the government “represents an important starting point for discussion.”
“Parliamentary elections will be held on time and the government's proposal represents an important starting point for discussion,” Miqati said during a cabinet session at the Grand Serail.
The government has proposed an electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 electorates.
Briefing the cabinet on his meetings in Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, Miqati said his talks with Saudi Crown Prince Salman tackled “the government's policy towards the developments in the region, especially in Syria,” adding that Prince Salman and Saudi King Abdullah understand Lebanon's position.
Upon his arrival from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Miqati telephoned President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri and briefed them on his talks in Riyadh.
Turning to the thorny issue of civil marriage, Miqati said: “The issue was raised in the past and it led to conflicting stances back then and there is no need to engage in futile discussions.”
“The current circumstances require rapprochement and this issue is not on the table,” he added.
President Suleiman on Sunday expressed support for a law allowing civil marriages, currently illegal in Lebanon, saying it will help build unity in the multi-faith country.
"We should work on drafting a civil marriage law. It is a very important step in eradicating sectarianism and solidifying national unity," Suleiman wrote in Arabic and English on his Facebook page.
Former President Elias Hrawi in 1998 proposed a similar law, which gained approval from the cabinet only to be halted amid widespread opposition from the country’s religious authorities. The Lebanese authorities recognize civil weddings only if they have been registered abroad, and it has become common for mixed-faith couples to marry in nearby Cyprus.
The discussion on this issue comes soon after reports broke out about a Lebanese couple who defied the sectarian personal status code in Lebanon and tied the knot in a marriage described as "the first civil marriage in the country."
Separately, Miqati called for speeding up the trial of Islamist prisoners held at the Roumieh prison in the wake of the latest protests.