Speaking after a meeting with the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, at the presidential palace in Baada, Prime Minister Najib Miakti indicated that the head of state was ready to sign the decree of opening of an extraordinary session of the House of Representatives, which could allow the reactivation of the Council of Ministers, with the aim of approving the 2022 budget.

The Prime Minister clarified that this budget is already ready and could be approved in the coming days. It could thus satisfy the demands of civil service employees but also the International Monetary Fund, of which it constitutes one of the preconditions.

As a reminder, no meeting of the Council of Ministers has been able to take place since the publication of an arrest warrant against the former Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil by Judge Tarek Bitar, in charge of the investigation into the explosion in the port of Beirut in early November. These meetings are however necessary in the face of the deterioration of the social and economic conditions which currently affect Lebanon and the deterioration of the parity of the Lebanese pound against the dollar. The president of the chamber and the Amal movement, supported by Hezbollah, in fact demand the relinquishment of the magistrate in charge of the investigation.

Faced with this threat, Ali Hassan Khalil but also the former ministers of public works Ghazi Zoaiter and of the interior Nouhad Machnouk also deputies took refuge under the parliamentary immunity they enjoy during the sessions of the parliament which ended at the end of December. Since then, the president of the chamber has sought to obtain the opening of an extraordinary session of parliament in order to extend this parliamentary immunity according to two scenarios, one at the request of the head of state himself, which was refused until now. ‘now the president of the republic or via a petition which would obtain more than 65 votes in favor of this procedure, which Nabih Berri would have been on the right track to obtain.

For the time being, the Presidency of the Republic neither confirms nor informs the Prime Minister’s comments.

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