Cabinet Holds 3rd Session after Vacuum, Fails to Agree on Methodology

The cabinet failed on Thursday to reach an agreement over the methodology it should adopt in conducting its affairs, raising fears of the emergence of paralysis in the government.

Information Minister Ramzi Jreij made the announcement after the session that was held at the Grand Serail and chaired by Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

He did not offer details of the discussions among the ministers, making a brief statement to reporters at the end of the session that lasted about four hours.

This was the third cabinet meeting to be held after the expiry of President Michel Suleiman's term in May 25.

Salam had told ministers that his invitation for Thursday's session was accompanied by copies of the agenda which were sent to them on May 30 to come up with a mechanism on the government's work in the absence of a president.

Despite his hopes to keep the Baabda Palace vacuum away from the government, ministers remain divided on how to take decisions and how to sign decrees.

Al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted informed sources as saying that Salam paved way for the session by holding contacts with ministers from different parliamentary blocs.

During his phone conversations, he hoped that the ministers would engage in serious talks to adopt the mechanism that should preserve the cabinet's unity, they said.

Salam stressed to them the importance of stopping a spillover of the parliamentary crisis to the government, the sources added.

Jreij stressed after the cabinet session the need to maintain the government's unity given the presidential vacuum and the regional crises.

Al-Mustaqbal Movement, along with a number of Christian lawmakers, are boycotting legislative sessions aimed at discussing a wage scale for the public sector to protest the failure to elect a president.

The MPs claim the Taef Accord states that legislation without a head of state is unconstitutional.

Salam made the pleas after warnings that the parliament's boycott would lead to similar paralysis in the government.

Suleiman left Baabda Palace on May 25 after the rival MPs failed to elect a successor over their differences on a compromise candidate.



Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.