Aoun to Army Command Delegation: No One's Rights Will be Usurpedإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Aoun on Thursday reassured an Army Command delegation that “no one's rights will be usurped,” in connection with a growing row with Speaker Nabih Berri over a decree granting one-year seniority to a number of officers.
“You remained loyal to your oath and you did not have any shortcomings in any mission... Forget about the political statements you are hearing,” Aoun told the delegation during a meeting at the Baabda Palace.
“We will continue to do justice to the eligible beneficiaries and our decision to grant promotions was aimed at compensating then over a flaw that happened in the past,” the president added.
And pledging that “there will be no violations and no one's rights will be usurped,” Aoun pointed out that “the current debate is not related to the rights of the armed forces but rather to a political conflict over other issues.”
The Aoun-Berri spat broke out after the president and Premier Saad Hariri signed a decree granting one-year seniority to a number of officers. Berri and Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil have insisted that the decree should have also carried the finance minister's signature.
Aoun and his aides have argued that the decree did not require Khalil's signature because it did not entail any “financial burden,” a point Berri and officials close to him have argued against.
Ain el-Tineh sources have meanwhile warned that the decree would tip sectarian balance in favor of Christians in the army's highest echelons.
The officers in question were undergoing their first year of officer training at the Military Academy when Syrian forces ousted Aoun’s military government from Baabda in 1990. They were suspended by the pro-Damascus authorities until 1993 before they resumed their officer training course as second-year cadets.