Broken legislation: A new political bazaar

Press Highlights
2023-02-14 | 01:55
High views
Broken legislation: A new political bazaar
Broken legislation: A new political bazaar

Lebanon's focus was split along two axes on Monday:

The first one dealt with the transmission of the outcomes of the Paris meeting to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati by the ambassadors of the US, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt.

And the second was related to the fate of the legislative session of the Parliament, which was postponed due to the lack of quorum.

The first round of the political conflict over "legislation of necessity" ended with the cancelation of the session that was expected next Thursday.

The Free Patriotic Movement bloc joined the Lebanese Forces bloc and several independent MPs in announcing a boycott of the session. Therefore, it appears that the postponement is open until further notice due to the lack of a "political quorum," notably the Christian one.

This has uncovered more about the political and sectarian hidden facts in a nation whose institutions are being destroyed by a power vacuum due to the failure to elect a President.

Concerned sources said the stances of the parties are known. Still, the contacts that took place two weeks ago regarding the "necessity session" received the approval of key parties, especially the FPM, with the pledge to pass the Capital Control Law, which the FPM insists on. 

But the FPM sources affirmed that the agenda carries numerous non-emergency draft laws and proposals.

The same sources denied that the FPM's leadership had pledged to attend the session to guarantee the passage of the proposed law for the extension of the terms of general directors and heads of security and military agencies, indicating a positive relationship with the Director General of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim.

It also explained that the idea of extension means accepting the status quo, where the priority remains to revive the institutions by electing a new President and entering a new era in which all the required appointments are made.

The movement's stance is not one of "blackmailing" the Hezbollah-Amal Movement in exchange for other files, these sources emphasized, adding that the conversation with these two is still just focused on the presidential file and that no progress has been made so far.

Details about the meeting of the Parliament's bureau in Ain al-Tineh

During the debate of whether it was constitutional to hold the session given the vacancy, there was a negative discussion for almost an hour. Several forces, including the FPM, supported the boycott on the principle that "no functioning parliament matches no presidency," according to the bureau member, MP Alain Aoun.

Moreover, Al-Akhbar learned that Berri started the session by saying, "it is not the first time that the Parliament has held legislative sessions in light of the vacuum.

The speaker then mentioned that "we can keep the agenda to just the urgent laws that need to be adopted."

However, MP Aoun confirmed the main position, which does not totally oppose the convening of legislative sessions, saying they do not see any urgent issues that require holding a session.

Accordingly, Berri expressed his keenness to secure consensus, indicating that he would give an additional week for discussion.

Following the discussion of the possibility of resuming contacts to clear the way for a settlement leading to holding a session, the commission's meeting was postponed to the upcoming Monday to discuss the agenda and limit its items without Aoun committing to anything.

As for the stances of the other powers, they are still the same. After the statement issued by 46 deputies boycotting the session, new MPs joined the boycotters, whose number exceeded 66, which means that the session lost the quorum.

In this context, Al-Akhbar learned that the meeting scheduled at MP Nabil Badr's residence would take place on Tuesday.

MPs Ahmed Rustom, Sajih Attieh, Bilal Al-Hushaimi, Muhammad Suleiman, Imad Al-Hout, Abdulaziz Al-Samad, Ahmed Al-Khair, and Walid Al-Baarini will attend this meeting to discuss their stance over the possibility of holding a legislative session next week.

Paris meeting: Any measures against those obstructing presidential election?

On the other hand, the ambassadors of France, Anne Grillo, the US Dorothy Shea, Egypt Yasser Alawi, Qatar Ibrahim Abdel Aziz Al-Sahlawi, and the advisor at the Saudi embassy, Fares Hassan Amoudi, met on Monday with Berri and Mikati to put them "in the atmosphere of the discussions of the Paris meeting."

They highlighted the urgency of the presidential election and the risks of prolonged vacancy.

However, the ambassadors did not mention names but pointed out that "the meeting discussed the characteristics of the president." They also explained that electing a person who matches these specifications, with the formation of a government capable of accomplishing the required reforms, will push countries to help Lebanon to rise economically and get out of its crises.
Additionally, sources said the ambassadors clarified that obstructing the presidential election would subject Lebanon and those involved to specific procedures.

This prompted Berri to assert that, in his capacity as the council's president, he has done and is doing everything required of him and that, up until this point, the entitlement has been delayed due to a significant disagreement between the various political forces, particularly the Christian ones.

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