Jumblat Criticizes Term Extension of Qahwaji

The Democratic Gathering MP Walid Jumblat criticized on Saturday a suggestion to extend the term of Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji for another year and dubbed it as a step taken “at the law's expense.”

“It is a silly fad. Extending the term of some (military officials) is done at the law's expense,” said Jumblat in a tweet late on Friday.

Defense Minister Samir Moqbel announced that extending the tenure of Qahwaji for another year is possible, while extending the mandate of Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Walid Salman is not.

Moqbel had in August last year postponed the retirement of Qahwaji, Salman and Higher Defense Council chief Maj. Gen. Mohammed Kheir, extending their terms by one year, after the political forces failed to reach an agreement on security and military appointments.

Qahwaji's tenure expires in September while that of Salman will end on August 7.

The army chief's term has been extended twice since 2013 despite political objections, especially from the Free Patriotic Movement, which says it rejects term extensions for any military or security official.

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