Miqati Leaves Cabinet Session, Suspends Future Meetings

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The cabinet's session was concluded one hour and a half after it kicked off on Friday, amid rumors that Prime Minister Najib Miqati will announce his resignation from the Grand Serail after the ministers failed to agree on the formation of a committee to oversee the elections, the National News Agency reported.

"President Michel Suleiman suspended the session and stated that he will not head a cabinet meeting that does not have the article about forming the committee to oversee the elections on the top of its agenda,” Social Affairs Minister Wael Aou Faour told reporters after the meeting.

He detailed: “The president urged Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to seek new nominees for the committee.”

Abou Faour expressed that Miqati was "clearly dismayed": “I believe his decision will go beyond suspending the sessions.”

"The premier will address the nation from the Grand Serail at 7:30 pm,” al-Jadeed television revealed.

Meanwhile, informed sources told LBCI television: “Miqati's resignation has become a reality.”

A cabinet session kicked off in Baabda Palace on Friday afternoon as several ministers have expressed that the government might resign if no agreement was reached over the extension of Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi's term.

"Miqati suggested calling Rifi to take back his role while many minsters opposed his proposal,” Abou Faour said.

"The premier then asked Suleiman to suspend the meeting.”

State Minister Ahmed Karami had said prior to the meeting that all options are on the table, including resignation or the suspension of the cabinet's sessions.

He noted: “If Rifi's term was not extended, the cabinet will collapse.”

Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil pointed out that this issue is not listed among the topics to be discussed during Friday's session: “Prime Minister Najib Miqati has the final say in suggesting it or not.”

"Hizbullah is against extending Rifi's term,” confirmed State Minister Mohammed Fneish.

Meanwhile, State Minister Karami said he will vote in favor of the extension.

“I will defend my viewpoint that calls for extending Rifi's term until September through a governmental decree,” Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stated.

Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour said: “Miqati won't change his stance in this respect and the cabinet has a tough decision to take.”

Prior to Friday's cabinet's session, a meeting was held between PM Miqati and President Michel Suleiman in Baabda.

Sources close to Future TV revealed that Miqati has informed Speaker Nabih Berri that “he can no longer continue like this.”

Comments 2
Thumb Lebanon4life 22 March 2013, 20:23

it's getting interesting :D

Missing realist 22 March 2013, 21:42

They killed wesam Hassan and they want to kill rifi politicaly or physically. The war in Lebanon is inevitable and will start in bekaa valley. This country is doomed, first Israel and now Iran