News from Beirut December 6  1996 .......Search

El-Murr informed Berreh of the government decision.

The Vice-Prime Minister Secretary, Mr. Michel El-Murr informed yesterday the President of the Parliament of the Cabinet decision, to hold municipal election President Berreh supported the holding of these elections within fixed dates, and according to the Cabinet terms.

After the meeting, El-Murr said the Register Committees, which didn't belong to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, have set up the last electoral lists that need to be rectified. Errors in these lists could be avoided by computerizing the system, and 15 billion dollars were allocated for this purpose. He pointed, on the other hand, that a new municipalities law would change nothing in these forecasted election; these infact, occur according to an election law, and this point would be enlightened in a press conference he (El-Murr) would hold next tuesday.

El-Murr added that shifting the first-degree functionaries was the cabinet first step towards the administrative reform. Several deputies praised the government decision to hold municipal elections. Deputy Ali Oseiran estimated it was a very important step; deputy Talal El-Merehbi insisted on holding these elections, deputy Ali El-Khalil noted the necessity of achieving all required conditions; deputy Emil Nawfal said these elections could be held within two months; deputy Abd Ellatif Ezzein hoped the government would not postpone the fixed dates, under the pretext of achieving the required conditions, deputy Antoine Haddad stated these elections would play a major part in reinforcing democracy deputy Nazih Mansour supported these elections and rejected nomination, and finally deputy Chaker Abou Soleiman all supported the holding of these elections, hoping all electoral lists would be rectified within 6 months.

Berreh examined the electricity issue.

The president of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berreh, asked the financial inspection body to investigate about the electricity bills. Citizens have recently been complaining of the great sums paid to the Electricity Company. It seems that this Company doesn't issue bills each month, but every several months, thus taking advantage of the ascending tariffs.

He also called for the head of the Parliamentary committee on public works, Transport, Hydroelectric Resources, to have the committee hold a meeting, at 9:30 next Saturday, to examine the issue, along with the concerned Minister, the chairman and the general director of the Electricity Company.

Governmental sources: nominations are the first step towards the administrative reform.

Governmental sources said the expected nomination of first-degree functionaries was going to occur without any political intervening, and this was the first step towards separating politics from the administration. The same sources added it was the civil Service Council duty to suggest, in a paper set before the Prime Minister, the names of these functionaries. The president of the council of Ministers would then raise the issue within the Cabinet. President Al-Hariri, on the other hand, headed yesterday a meeting of the officials of the Ministry of Telecommunications, being himself on the head of this Ministry.

He also headed a meeting attended by the Ministers of Justice and Labour, Messers Bahij Tabbarah and Asaad Hardan, along with the board of directors of the National Fund for Social Security, headed Hiam El-Mallatt.

Al-Hariri then received deputy Farid Mokari, a delegation of the Lebanese Dentists Association, and a delegation of Arab ambassadors and charge d'affaires, who carried their countries congratulations for the confidence vote.

Finland Minister of Trade visited aL-Hrawi, Bweiz and Hobeiqa.

The Minister of European Affairs and of Finland Foreign Trade, Mr. Oly Norback visited yesterday, along with the accompanying delegation, President Al-Hrawi in Baabda, where he declared the goal of the visit was to develop economic and trade relations between Lebanon and Finland.

The European Minister also visited the Lebanese Secretary of state, Mr Fares Bweiz, and discussed with him the Middle East peace negotiations, namely the Lebanese ones, as well as Lebanon current economic role in the region. The delegation then went to the Ministry of Hydroelectric Resources, and met with Minister Elie Hobeiqa.

Bweiz responded about the American Drug report.

The Secretary of State, Mr .Fares Bweiz, accused the American embassy in Lebanon, to be responsible of the white House report saying Lebanon was still producing drugs. He estimated the report should have explained the efforts made by the Lebanese state to stop producing drugs, eliminating at least 95% of it.

Obeid met with a delegation of the Teachers Office

The Minister of National Education, Mr. Jean Obeid discussed with a delegation of the Teachers Office what had been implemented of the recently adopted law on salaries and degrees. After the meeting, the head of the League of Public Secondary teachers, Mr. Fouad Saab, declared committees would be constituted to examine the government decisions related to this issue.

Obeid also headed an educational meeting in his office, and discussed with the assembled the means of raising solidarity funds within public schools, and how to stop their deficit. He also handled the global educational situation with the head of the parliamentary committee on Education, deputy Bahia Al-Hariri, received the general secretary of Catholic Schools, Father Kamil Zeidan, then a delegation of the union of Instructive Schools, headed by Mr. Hassan Meqdad, and was joined by delegations on behalf of the union of Private academic schools.

Miscellaneous ...

* The Ministry of Culture and High Education, Mr Fawzi Hobeich, received yesterday in his office at Starco, the Russian, French and Armenian, ambassadors in Beirut, Messers Olig Beresbekin, Jean-Pierre Lafond and Yrawant Malkonyan, with whom he discussed mutual culture relations.

*The Minister of Social Affairs, Mr. Ayoub Hemayyed, handled yesterday with the general secretary of the Lebanese-Syrian High Council, Mr Nasri Khoury, a draft-agreement of social cooperation between the two countries.

*Judge Adnan Addoum signed yesterday a warrant arrest against Wafa Chafiq Soleiman, the wife of Raafat Soleiman, accusing her of concealing information about theft operations her husband carried out some years ago.

*The waxwork of the prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, is expected to arrive within the next few days from Paris, to join the other statues representing all those who played a part in the history of  Lebanon, in the Mary Baz Museum, in Dayr El-Qamar.

*The Minister of Agriculture, Mr chawqi Fakhoury headed, yesterday in his office, a meeting with local agriculture officials, and decided to form 3 committees, that would examine the guidance state, besides modernizing  studies and setting priorities.

Lebanon v/s Georgia

The Lebanese football team won yesterday over the Georgian one (4-2), during the match they played at Bourj Hammoud local stadium. The first half remained without goals, and at the beginning of the second one, Georgia team scored his goals, but in the last 20 minutes of the game, Lebanon players scored 4 consecutive goals, and won the match.

Cyprus Tekwando championship

A Lebanese Tekwando delegation took part in the International Tekwando championship, organized in Nicosia by Cyprus tekwando federation. Ranking third, after Cyprus itself and Jordan, Lebanon won 2 golden metals and 2 bronze ones.

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