News from Beirut November 27  1996 .......Search

Governmental statement discussions.

The second day of discussions concerning the governmental statement started yesterday with deputy Ahmed Fatfat, who asked the cabinet to carry out one of Taef agreement articles, that is developing remote region, also mentioned in the statement. He demanded enforcing and developing public schools, especially in Denneyeh and Akkar, and noted that the administrative reform and state rebuilding would be a result of the political reform. Within this regard, he reaffirmed the necessity of holding municipal election, and ended his speech by granting the confidence to the government.

Deputy Ahmed Karameh said the current statement was nothing but a reiteration of the previous governments policies. He then pointed that handling the social issue would only occur through the increasing of labour opportunities and of productivity, and reminded the government that in Tripoli an ancient fortress need to be taken care of  by both the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, besides many islands that could be invested for touristic purposes. At the end, he gave the confidence.

Deputy Jamil Shammas declared the country was living in anxiety, and in fear of the future destiny. The state did, infact, organize the audio-visual media issue, in a just and modern law, but we can not leave these media employees unemployed in the streets, so the government must enroll them in the authorized media and the minister of  information must take the initiative.

Then, deputy Mohammed Ali El-Mays said the statement was based on the Prime Minister's general view of a new and modern state. He stated that the administrative reform must be radical, and for that power should be given to inspection bodies. He also granted the confidence to the government.

Deputy Ahmed Soweid said the actual government was similar to the previous ones, and statement gave the illusion that the cabinet was able to carry the Lebanese people into happiness and luxury. He also wondered why the control committee in the South was not efficient and accused the U.S.A of working with Israel to hinder its activity.

Deputy Salah El-Harakeh, on the other hand, asked the parliament to deal with the media issue, in a radical way, and the prime minister to take the initiative which would help achieve the organization of audio-visual mass media. He also called for the holding of municipal elections.

Deputy Sayed Aql denounced the lack of development projects in Batroun, and criticized the educational and environmental strategies, as well as the administration corruption.

Deputy Ibrahim Bayan claimed the structure of the Ministry of  Education needed development, asked the government to conclude contracts with teachers through the Ministry of Education and to enforce the role of inspection bodies, and didn't give the confidence.

Deputy Hassan Alawyeh stated the government must be ready to face peace settlement, by strengthening production sectors, such as agriculture and industry.

Deputy Nicholas Ghosn talked about the North, the deprived region, especially Al-Koura, and called for the application of balance development. He granted the confidence.

Deputy Khaled Ghosn said freedom is vital for Lebanon, but it was not included in the statement. He asked the government to allow demonstrations, to diminish taxes and to grant the citizen social services, namely the health card and the old age pensions.

Then deputy Rabiha Kayrouz declared that the Bekaa, Baalbeck and Hermel regions were totally ignored during the government constitution, calling for the administrative reform and the establishing of a developed state. The bloc of Resistance Fullfilment, of which Kayrouz is a member, has declared boycotting the confidence.

Deputy Najah Wakim delivered afterwards a long speech, in which he reminded the parliament of the events which occurred 7 years ago, after concluding the Taef agreement, when people were divided: some accepted to agreement and some rejected it. And if the latters were wrong, would the current situation prove it ? Never, and those who ignored the people should bear the responsibility for that. And what are we going to discuss now after 7 years? the state was destroyed, first by war and then under the slogans of peace and reconstruction.

The state is broken, a fact very well known by all officials, who enriched illegally, and by the people, living in misery. Corruption, law and constitution violations within public institutions and by their employees. These are the facts shall we disagree about them? They say that, in democratic regime, the people is the source of power , but without any legitimacy, since government keeps on counterfeiting the people's will.

Officials, imposed their election results, added Wakim. The People, on the other hand, would form non-governmental institutions to recover the legitimacy which the state has taken from them. Then, if the state went on oppressing the citizens, through banning demonstrations and by using violence, that would lead into another war. Talking about the Syrian-Lebanese relations, Wakim said they were enrooted in the common history of both countries, and Syria had no interest in the local distribution of audio-visual media on the state officials, adding that the decision was totally rejected, whatever country supported its implementation. And if Syria wanted stability in Lebanon, it wouldn't, for sure, accept this kind of stability, based on oppression.

Wakim noted that the cabinet was violating the constitution through the banning of peaceful demonstrations, in spite of a parliamentary, recommendation to stop this banning. Finally, Wakim said he would raise questions with the cabinet, and send a signed written note to the office of the attorney general, concerning the authorization of audio-visual media.

Deputy Fayez Ghosn welcomed some of the urgent points mentioned in the statement, namely the establishing of a Ministry of Industry and supporting agriculture. While deputy Abdellatif Ezzayn called for the government to provide resistance elements to people in the south and West Bekaa, and warned of the privatizing of social security. He prompted the holding of municipal elections and granted confidence. Deputy Qabalan Issa El-Khoury estimated the country was facing an existence crisis, far beyond the social problems, and wondered how could the statement be without the constitutional reforms, long asked for by the President of the Republic. Deputy Antoine Endraous insisted on rebuilding the nation infrastructure, expanding the public health services, and uplifting the education sector. Deputy Raji Abou Haydar asked the Cabinet to set a detailed plan of action, to enforce the role of administrative control bodies, as well as rehabilitating the public institutions employees. He also suggested reviewing salaries of public sector employees, creating new work opportunities and diminishing indirect taxes. Deputy Nazih Mansour declared that social stability was a necessity more than the military one, and called for the constitution of the social and economic council, adding that confidence would be acquired and couldn't be given.

Finally deputy Pierre Dakkash estimated there was nothing new in the governmental statement, and the country was living, since 1992, under one reign and one form of governments. He added that the Taef agreement was concluded in order to make the war cease, to have political reforms and build a strong state as well as deploying the Lebanese authority all over its territory. Instead of that, freedoms and rights were oppressed, and the political life within the country was dwindling. Thus, deputy Dakkash announced he wouldn't give the confidence.

Merger of four T.V. networks

Four television corporations, the Independent Cable Network (ICN), the new T.V. (N.T.V.), the Cable Video Network (C.V.N) and Al-Mashrek-kilikia television, which decided to merge, sent a note to the president of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berreh, asking him to help obtain the authorization of 1st category network.


The Lebanese Football Federation

The high committee of the Lebanese Football Federation held yesterday its weekly meeting and decided to nominate Al-Ansar and Annejmeh teams as Lebanon representatives in the 1997 Asian club championship and in the 1997 Asian champion league respectively.

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