| 21.02,12. 02:47 AM |
Miqati Maintains Firm Decision on Transportation Crisis, Refuses Parliament’s Interference
Prime Minister Najib Miqati maintained a steady position regarding the suspension of the cabinet sessions if Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas doesn’t add his signature to the transportation allowance decree approved by the government, according to local newspapers published on Monday.
“The cabinet will not accept to discuss the issue before minister Nahhas (who is loyal to Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun) signs the decree,” Miqati’s sources told An Nahar newspaper on Monday.
The sources stressed on the importance of the “cooperation” between the parliament and the cabinet to organize the work of the state institutions but said Miqati would not give his consent to any draft law suggested by the parliament on the matter before Nahhas’ signature.
Aoun and Miqati had exchanged accusations on the premier’s decision to suspend the cabinet sessions on February 1 over his decision to appoint top civil servants in state posts reserved for Christians without consulting ministers loyal to the FPM chief.
Their dispute worsened after Miqati said in reference to Nahhas that ministers who don’t want to abide by the cabinet’s decision should resign. But Aoun slammed the premier, saying he should quit.
Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Ibrahim Kanaan and al-Mustaqbal bloc lawmaker Nabil de Freij have separately proposed two urgent draft laws in an attempt to “legalize” the transportation allowance decree, which remains a point of contention between Miqati and Aoun.
“We will not relinquish the cabinet’s jurisdictions that are approved by the most of its members,” the premier’s sources told An Nahar.
They slammed in remarks published in As Safir newspaper the draft law proposed by de Freij, saying that his “proposal aims at encroaching on the executive authority and its head” despite claims by al-Mustaqbal movement that it is keen on preserving the constitution and the cabinet.
The sources noted that de Freij shouldn’t have proposed such a draft law before minister Nahhas’ signature.
The PM’s sources also told al-Joumhouria that the parliament is an independent authority; however any issue that is linked to the cabinet should be governed by the principle of “separation of powers.”
“The two authorities shouldn’t meddle in each other’s affairs and shouldn’t violate the separation of powers,” they said.
According to al-Mustaqbal newspaper, Hizbullah informed Miqati on Sunday that its secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah expects Nahhas to sign the decree one a day before the parliamentary session is held.
Local newspapers reported that Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui, who is loyal to Aoun, will host a dinner banquet on Tuesday in honor of Miqati.
The premier’s sources denied that the PM will hold a meeting with Aoun on the sidelines of the dinner, saying that it has nothing to do with the crisis.
LebanonPoliticsNabih BerriCharbel Nahhas.