Miqati Asks Ministers to Revoke Firearms Licenses, Says Circumstances Not Appropriate for Civil Marriage Debate

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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.

Comments 12
Missing gcb1 22 January 2013, 19:09

Civil marriage not on table? But the Orthodox Gathering Law is? How sectarian can this Parliament be?

Thumb Sanelebanese 23 January 2013, 13:57

FT what clergy are you talking about? Some of them believe in celibacy, others in sister wives, yet others in pleasure marriage!,

Missing allouchi 22 January 2013, 20:51

This is why we need the clergy to butt off politics...

Thumb lebanon_first 22 January 2013, 23:39

Yes Mr. Prime minister. Finally. Revoke all the weapons liscences. revoke the tinted windows. I dont see why anyone should have those.

Thumb jabal10452 23 January 2013, 00:02

Ma3ak 7a2!

Missing rafehh 23 January 2013, 06:57

The irony is that in the 1920s and 1930s, the muslim religeous authorities did not object to civil marriage. The one that raised hell was the maronite church. So the french killed it. Now all of the religeous authorities are against it since they are as institutionalized as the maronite church. It comes to show that when someone usurp power, it is difficult to give up.

Missing peace 23 January 2013, 10:36

lol! it is never the time to discuss secularism or civil marriages.... LOL..
no wonder ! the religious authorities have too much to lose in it and the leaders of political parties too as they base their policies on the fear of other sects!!!!

Thumb eliecoopter 23 January 2013, 11:11

i don't get it , how hard it is to do a national referendum , one lebanese one vote , regardless of his sect , to see if civil marriage is the will of the nation or not . It is your duty as prime minister to organize this , and it will be the first non sectarian vote in lebanon . What are you afraid of? Impress us and inspire us , be a symbol of union . You wanted to be the man of the middle , this is being a man IN the middle , a link between Muslims and Christians .

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 23 January 2013, 12:05

civil marriage happenned in lebanon
these two pioneers found a loophole in the constitution and it worked
so let our spiritual and political leaders shout as loud as they can
ALL one has to do is to be atheist

Missing peace 23 January 2013, 17:28

not to be atheist but without a religion, which is different....

Default-user-icon Mario S (Guest) 23 January 2013, 14:04

Civil Marriage and government is the answer for all your problems.

Default-user-icon XRumerTest (Guest) 04 May 2013, 12:02

Hello. And Bye.