Salam Postpones Cabinet Session to Prevent its Possible Collapse

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Prime Minister Tammam Salam postponed a cabinet session that was set to take place on Tuesday to pave way for more consultations and to avoid a further confrontation on its controversial decision-making mechanism.

A statement issued by the premiership said Salam set Thursday as a new date for the cabinet to convene.

Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat had urged him to postpone the session. They wanted the consultations carried out by the different parties to pave way for agreements to facilitate the work of the government.

Sources close to Salam told al-Mustaqbal newspaper that his resignation is still an option.

The prime minister prefers to have a caretaker government rather than keeping a cabinet that does not function, they said.

The premier has recently come under huge pressure by the Free Patriotic Movement, which is backed by Hizbullah, to review the government's decision-making mechanism that has been adopted in the absence of a president.

The FPM accuses Salam of infringing on the Christian president's powers and says its ministers have the right to take decisions inside the cabinet because they represent the head of state.

The cabinet failed last week to agree on the mechanism and adjourned the issue to Tuesday. But it is unlikely to reach any decision this week amid a waste management crisis that is also threatening the government.

The crisis erupted when the Naameh landfill that lies south of Beirut, and which receives the waste of the capital and Mount Lebanon, was closed on July 17. Garbage continued to pile up in dumpsters because the authorities had failed to find an alternative.

A ministerial committee headed by Salam announced on Monday that garbage collector Sukleen started collecting waste. But it failed to mention the areas where a “balanced distribution of garbage” would be made.

The committee's decision is temporary amid a failure to establish new landfills.

Comments 6
Thumb EagleDawn 28 July 2015, 09:49

The FPM says its ministers have the right to take decisions inside the cabinet because they represent the head of state.

They represent the head of something else....

Missing humble 28 July 2015, 10:06

I think I understand what you meant...

Thumb ex-fpm 28 July 2015, 10:19

lol, i agree.

Thumb Mystic 28 July 2015, 20:17

Instead of pointing fingers, people should preserve the Government we do have.
We will not agree on any President for the time being anyway.

Missing humble 28 July 2015, 10:04

Mr PM Salam is a good man.

Thumb -phoenix1 28 July 2015, 14:34

Aoun and his bosses at Hezbollah, and their bosses in Syria and Iran will stop at nothing short of destroying Lebanon. They've created a myriad of problems, yet would prevent solutions. Sadly, this is the predicament under which we're currently stuck.