Lebanon: ‘Tactical’ Withdrawal of Future, LF Deputies From Parliament Session
Lebanon’s Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned on Tuesday an afternoon legislative session for the lack of quorum, following a “tactical” walkout of Future Movement and Lebanese Forces deputies.
Prior to adjourning the session, Parliament had endorsed eight draft laws, mainly the housing loans for citizens with limited income and the International Arms Trade Treaty. It also discussed the file of missing and forcibly disappeared persons.
The Lebanese Parliament held its first legislative session on Monday under the caretaker government, with political forces failing to agree on a new government in the presence of disputes over ministerial shares.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri linked attending the evening session to discussing “legislation of necessity,” or in other terms, articles linked to the CEDRE conference.
Less than an hour after Berri opened the evening session, LF and Future Movement deputies started leaving after some deputies rejected to discuss legislation of article 17 following articles related to the CEDRE conference and the legislation of necessity.
During the morning session, and despite being ratified by Parliament, the International Arms Trade Treaty was rejected by Hezbollah deputies.
The party’s MP Jawwaf Moussawi said the Israeli enemy is a partner in that treaty and therefore, Lebanon has no interest in signing it.
However, Hariri defended the treaty, saying it has nothing to do with Hezbollah’s weapons. “Lebanon must sign the treaty because it serves its interests,” Hariri said.
Another debate erupted between Hariri and MP Jamil Sayyed after Parliament endorsed a draft law for a $50 million loan from the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development for wastewater treatment in the Chouf region and a $15 million loan from the European Investment Bank for the wastewater treatment for the Ghadir River Basin.
Sayyed said this law would only benefit Syrian refugees. But, Hariri said those projects would benefit both Lebanese and Syrians, and when the Syrians leave, they will be beneficial for the Lebanese.
After adjourning Tuesday’s session, Speaker Berri did not set a date for a new one.