Sharp differences among cabinet members over the new wages scale forced the postponement of the controversial issue as ministers were divided between those holding onto a deal agreed with the public sector and others arguing that the percentage hike should be decreased as the state treasury can’t endure it, local newspapers reported on Thursday.
The cabinet session on Wednesday witnessed sharp debate between Hizbullah and AMAL Movement ministers and President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati and National Struggle Front ministers, who are loyal to Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, over the percentage of the new salaries increase for the public sector employees.Full Story
The cabinet is once again showing signs of division among cabinet members but this time on the $5.9 billion extra-budgetary spending of 2011 that has seen centrists criticizing March 8 majority members for pressuring President Michel Suleiman into signing the bill after parliament failed to approve it.
During a cabinet session held at Baabda palace on Wednesday, the ministers loyal to Hizbullah, Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement exerted pressure on the president to use his constitutional authorities by resorting to article 58 of the constitution which allows him to issue a bill deemed urgent by the government after the failure of the legislature to approve it.Full Story
Speaker Nabih Berri has moved to the stage of inquiring Lebanese politicians about their stances from his electoral proposal based on proportional representation that considers Lebanon a single district.
The first stop was President Michel Suleiman when Berri dispatched Ministers Ali Hassan Khalil and Mohammed Fneish to Baabda palace on Tuesday.Full Story
Several ministers have tasked Hizbullah and Amal movement with informing Energy Minister Jebran Bassil about the decisions they reached on the electricity crisis at a meeting held at the Grand Serail on Monday.
Amal Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and a Hizbullah representative will make the proposal to Bassil although he rejected any amendment to his electricity plan that calls for the allocation of $1.2 billion to generate 700 Megawatts of electricity.Full Story
Hizbullah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc MPs on Wednesday walked out en masse of the parliamentary debate session on the new government’s Policy Statement, as bloc MP Nawwaf al-Moussawi slammed as “spy” his colleague Nohad al-Mashnouq, member of the Mustaqbal bloc.
The lawmakers walked out while Phalange bloc MP Nadim Gemayel was addressing parliament.Full Story
Hizbullah is reportedly mediating between Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun and Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat after the FPM asked for a “services ministry” alleging that it has no such portfolio as part of its shares in the new cabinet.
Sources involved in the consultations aimed at forming the government told al-Akhbar daily in remarks published Monday that Hizbullah made no major progress yet in its mediation efforts.Full Story
There were conflicting reports on Friday on whether a meeting between Premier-designate Najib Miqati and the envoys of Speaker Nabih Berri, Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun was held the day before.
An Nahar daily quoted March 8 sources as saying that the meeting that was scheduled to be held between Miqati, MP Ali Hassan Khalil, Hussein Khalil and Jebran Bassil on Thursday afternoon was postponed in a sign that the three envoys haven’t yet prepared answers to some specific points.Full Story
The formation of the new government is still awaiting major agreement on the entire line-up despite a preliminary consensus on retired Internal Security Forces Maj. Gen. Marwan Charbel to lead the interior ministry, Baabda palace sources said.
President Michel Suleiman’s visitors told An Nahar newspaper in remarks published Thursday that all sides have a serious intention to end the cabinet deadlock but warned that consultations are carried out to reach agreement on the entire lineup, which means that any snag could further delay the formation of the cabinet.Full Story
Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati held talks Wednesday at his residence in Verdun with caretaker Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil, Speaker Nabih Berri's political aide MP Ali Hassan Khalil and Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's political aide Hussein Khalil.
The quadrilateral meeting managed to achieve some progress concerning the cabinet formation process, Free Patriotic Movement's mouthpiece OTV reported. "But that does not mean that the cabinet will see light soon despite the positive atmospheres," the TV station noted.Full Story
Syria’s allies in Lebanon have expressed their firm support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, as the neighboring country faces unprecedented protests demanding the end of nearly 50 years of emergency rule.
"Today, we stand yet again by our sister Syria ... and by Syria's leaders who have refused to give into pressure or ... to conspire against the resistance," Hizbullah MP Nawaf Moussawi said on Monday during a press conference entitled "In solidarity with Syria against the American-Zionist-Western plot to undermine its national, pan-Arab and resistance role."Full Story