Berri Voices Support to Extension of Top Security Officersإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Monday that he favors the appointment of new figures in high-ranking military posts if consensus was reached among the political arch-foes, local newspapers reported.
“If we failed to reach an agreement then I favor the extension of the terms of Internal Security Forces chief (Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous) and Army Commander (General Jean Qahwaji),” Berri told his visitors.
He stressed that the extension of terms is “far more better than vacuum to ensure the continuety at institutions, in particular the ISF and the military, which can not endure leadership vacuum amid the delicate stage” the country is passing through.
The speaker noted that he informed Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun about his stance.
“I explained my point of view since the beginning.”
The military positions in Lebanon are suffering as the result of the months-long presidential vacuum in light of the parliament's failure to elect a successor for Michel Suleiman. The tenure of Basbous is set to end in June, while Qahwaji's term ends in September.
The army chief's term was extended for two years in September 2013.
Media reports had said that Aoun's main objective is to receive political consensus on the appointment of his son-in-law Commando Regiment chief Brig. Gen. Chamel Roukoz as army chief as part of a package for the appointment of other top security officers.
Roukoz's tenure ends in October.
Despite the reports about his insistence to have his son-in-law as army chief, Aoun denied that he had made such a proposal.
Berri told his visitors that Roukoz is competent and deserves to become an army chief, but if the cabinet members failed to agree on his name then vacuum is the fate of the institution.