After 14 days , a new government of 30 ministers was born yesterday.
The new cabinet included:
President Rafiq Al-Hariri as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Post and Telecommunications.
Mr. Michel El-Murr as vice-Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior,
Mr. Michel Eddeh as Minister of State,
Mr. Bahij Tabbarah as Minister of Justice,
Mr. Walid Jounblat as Minister of Dislodged People,
Mr. Mohsen Dalloul as Minister of National Defense,
Mr. Nadim Salem as Minister of state for Industrial Affairs,
Mr. Chawqi Fakhoury as Minister of Agriculture,
Mr. Asaad Hardan as Minister of Labour,
Mr. Elias Hobeiqa as Minister of Hydroelectric Resources,
Mr. Soleiman Franjieh as Minister of Public Health,
Mr. Talal Erslan as Minister of Emigrants,
Mr. Chahe Barsomyan as Minister of Industry and Oil,
Mr. Omar Mesqawi as Minister of Transport,
Mr. Nicholas Fattouch as Minister of Tourism,
Mr. Bechara Merhej as Minister of Administrative Reform,
Mr. Mohmoud Abou Hamdan as Minister of Housing and Cooperations,
Mr. Hagob Demerjyan as Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs,
Mr. Fouad Assanyoura as Minister of State for Financial Affairs,
Mr. Jean Obeid as Minister of Education, Youth and Sports,
Mr. Yassine Jaber as Minister of Economy and Trade,
Mr. Ali Hrajli as Minister of Public Works,
Mr. Fawzi Hobeich as Minister of Culture and High Education,
Mr. Basem Essabeh as Minister of Information,
Mr. Akram Choheib as Minister of Environment,
Mr. Ayyoub Hmeid as Minister of Social Affairs,
Mr. Farouq Barbir as Minister of Technical Education,
Mr. Elias Hanna as Minister of State,
Mr. Ghazy Seifeddin a Minister of State,
Thus, the Mouhafazat of Beirut was represented by 6 ministers, Mount of Lebanon by 9, the North by 4, the Bekaa by 5, while 6 ministers were from the South and Nabatyyeh.
The President of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berreh, declared yesterday, before deputies who visited him, that he didn't agree of the new government form, he also reaffirmed his position about assigning a portfolio to deputy Basem Asabeh, and claimed a representative of Al-Baath Party in the Cabinet. In brief deputies who met with president Berreh concluded that he was unsatisfied about the new government, and wouldn't accept to stand as a false witness.
Berreh, on the other hand, received yesterday in his office Minister Mohmoud Abou Hamdan, his vice-president, deputy Elie El-Ferezli, besides deputies Chaker Abou Soleiman, Agob Joe-Khadaryan, Ayoub Homayed, Ali El-Khalil, Ali Khoreis, Mohammed Kebarah, Talal El-Merhbi, Fayez Ghosn, Jean Obeid and Mahmoud Abd El-Hamid Baydoun.
Minister Walid Jounblat asked yesterday to review Beirut reconstruction project, in order to reinforce the state role and authority in every field and to stop the increasing privatization.
Jounblat added that Al-Hariri wanted to control the important portfolios, as reconstruction, finance, telecommunications and hydroelectric resources, so he would be able to carry out his projects according to his own economic view. He added that Al-Hariri's assistants, as Minister Fouad Assanyoura, were responsible of corruption scandals running throughout the country, and in order to hide the corruption issue, Al-Hariri kept the portfolio of Justice.
Jounblat reaffirmed the necessity of an opposition bloc within the parliament to play a role in controlling the state policy, and without opposition, politics are paralyzed.
The Judicial court will start today the trial of the chief commandant of the dissolved Lebanese Forces, Mr. Samir Geagea, charged of the attempt to assassinate in 1991 the current Home Secretary, Mr. Michel El-Murr.
* The Teachers Union held yesterday a meeting, headed by president Mohsen Yammine, and attended by many teachers, who asked the government to fulfill its promises.
But since the state was not paying any attention to their righful demands, the teachers decided to carry out a one-day strike, on November 14th 1996, in all public and private schools, followed by another strike on December 4th,5th,6th and 7th 1996.
* The anti-smuggling office in the Lebanese Tobacco Department seized 5,5 tons of smuggled tobacco during the last October.
* The general director of telecommunications investments and maintenance declared the general department of investment and maintenance was collecting, starting November 11th 1996, dues of local and international phone calls.
* A delegation of Netherlands economists, headed by the vice-president of the chamber of commerce and Industry in Roterdam, Mr. Fixel, visited yesterday the chamber of commerce and industry in Beirut, where they were received by its president, Mr. Adnan El-Qassar, his vice-president, Rachid Baydoun, and the members Mr. Ali Dia and Mr. Samir Tawileh besides the consultant Mr. Emil Jbarah.
* The American University of Beirut announced resuming the enrollment of students for the second semester. It also announced granting qualified students fellowships.
An agreement was concluded yesterday between Adidas company represented by Mrs Zeina Hallaq, the general director of Adidas company in lebanon, and the Lebanese football federation, represented by its head, Mr Nabil Errahi.
This is the first time a sport company signs an agreement with the Lebanese federation. According to this contract, Adidas, who has signed with FIFA an agreement to sponsor the 1998 Football world Cup in France, would sponsor the Lebanese football federation series, as well as national teams.
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