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Hariri Seeks Formula to Overcome Aoun-Berri Decree Feud

Hariri Seeks Formula to Overcome Aoun-Berri Decree Feud

Thursday, 18 January, 2018 - 08:45
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun (L) meets with Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Lebanon April 12, 2017 (Dalati & Nohra/ Handout via Reuters)

Member of the Future parliamentary bloc MP Samir al-Jisr said that Prime Minister Saad Hariri had a “strong will” to resolve the dispute between President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri over the "seniority" decree, noting that the premier was discussing his initiative with the two sides.


“The prime minister has delayed putting forward his initiative for a solution in order to discuss his ideas with the concerned parties,” Jisr told Asharq Al-Awsat.


He also revealed that contacts away from the spotlight were paving the way for “an understanding that ends the existing dispute,” pointing out that the premier was keen on achieving a political understanding within legal and constitutional frameworks.


The dispute between Aoun and Berri broke out when the president and the premier signed a decree promoting a number of Army officers without sending it to the finance minister. Berri has insisted that the decree should have also carried the minister’s signature.


On why the decree has not been published in the Official Gazette, Jisr said that the decree “carries a personal character, meaning that it only concerns a few people and therefore does not need to be published in the Official Gazette.


A legal source close to Aoun supported Jisr’s opinion, noting in this regard that hundreds of decrees were issued annually and were not published in the Official Gazette, especially personal decrees.


The source said it believed that the crisis was “political, not legal”, pointing out that the president “has no desire to enter into disputes with any political party, neither now nor in the future.”


On the other hand, sources close to Berri considered that the delay in the publication of the decree in the Official Gazette “means there is a real problem, which the concerned parties refuse to recognize.”

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