FPM Source: Extending Terms of Military Officials a 'Political Trash'

A prominent source of the Free Patriotic Movement warned on Thursday against the consequences of extending the terms of the army commander and the chief of staff, describing the move as a “political trash.”

“Extending the terms of the army chief and the chief of staff will escalate tension and those who insist to violate the constitution will be blamed,” the source told As Safir daily.

“Any decision to extend the terms of military officers is political trash,” the source added on condition of anonymity.

“The cabinet has an opportunity to reform the abnormal path it is taking during the next session through the appointment of a new army chief of staff. We recommend the cabinet to take such a decision instead of proceeding with irregularities,” said the source.

September will witness the term's end of several military army officials including the Army Chief of Staff Walid Salman on September 7, Director general of Army Intelligence Brig. Edmond Fadel on September 20, Maj. Mohammed Kheir, secretary-general of the Higher Defense Council, on Sept. 21, Army commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji on Sept. 22.

While Brig. Chamel Roukoz, head of the Army Commando Unit, is set to retire on Oct. 15.

Reports have said that Defense Minister Samir Moqbel will not allow vacancy at senior military posts and hence is set to postpone the retirement of Salman next week, despite the opposition of Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun.

Thursday's cabinet session could face a thorny decision in that regard, and reports have said that the best formula for the cabinet may be to avoid the issue and suspend its sessions until the “storm passes by.”

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has warned saying: “If we failed to find serious solutions for the cabinet in light of the presidential vacuum, then we will arrive at a great inability.”

Lebanon has been living a presidential vacuum since May 2014 when the term of president Michel Suleiman ended.



Source: Naharnet

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