The state auditing office report released and circulated Thursday during a meeting of the parliament finance committee has, according to leading press articles, caused a political fire. Mr. Hariri was the first to stand up to put it down. At a conference on Sidon, he addressed the audience saying the report was by the financial inspection not the auditing office and it is a comparative table between 1996 and 1997 budgets. He assailed the reports speaking on waste of money saying the Lebanese ethics are higher than that and "the one living on principles do not sell himself for few dollars".
A front page column today in a leading daily said the whole matter behind the bickering is the coming presidential elections, and each one's part of the cake, not the issues of honesty, waste and corruption. The columnist said lets put it straight its the "battle on the coming president".
The presidency and the speakership did not comment. The state financial inspector Sami Barakat denied that his report dealt with the waste of money or unproductive spending but dealt with comparing 1997 budget figures with that of 1996 and the necessity to justify clearly why the difference in figures. The auditing office also gave similar clarification . Appointment of vacant posts at the supervisory boards will be discussed at the troika meeting tomorrow.
-The Islamic resistance yesterday attacked the SLA post at Reshaf, Sojod and Ghozlan and Bir Kallab. Israeli and SLA artillery retaliated by shelling the middle sector and top hills in Iqlim Toffah.
-President Elias Hrawi received a formal invitation to the Islamic summit scheduled in Tehran on 9th of December for three days. It is not certain yet if president Hrawi will attend personally the summit and represent Lebanon or name the prime minister for the mission.
-The Grouping for Lebanon, loyal to Gen. Michel Aoun, called for a gathering at the Trocadero square in Paris on Sunday at 4.30 p.m. in the 7th occasion of the 13th Oct. 1990. The grouping's statement said the call aimed to remind that the Lebanese people continue its opposition to the de facto situation and demand freedom of the country.
-Muslim religious leaders in their Friday's sermon centered on economy and living conditions. They urged that the budget should concentrate on the daily living of the people, urged a review of the economy, and some called for cooperation in order to go out of the impasse because the country is on the brink of a catastrophe.
-The American Task Force delegation including 28 members with their spouses are due to arrive today to Lebanon in a one week visit and scheduled to meet the three presidents and some opposition members. The delegation visit to Lebanon is the first one after lifting the US ban. Executive chairman of the task Force Nijad Fares yesterday arrived to Beirut via Paris to hold preparatory talks with the officials over the visit.
-Cedars' 7th Rally is to start today with 23 racers on a distance of 436 Kms. The rally, last of Lebanon's championship rallies, will continue until tomorrow.
-Ikhaa Ahli-Aley overcame the Shabab Khiam 6-2 in the 32nd round of Lebanon's Cup 26. Riyada wal Adab overcame Nasr-Ghobeirii 5-0. Ikhaa Ahli and Riyada wal Adab were qualified. Today's matches include Nijmeh-Beirut 90 at Bourj Hammoud and Hikmeh against Tadamoun.
-The football team Racing is to play a postponed match with Ansar tomorrow at Khiara in west Bekaa.
- Judo World Championship Results Men 78kg First round: Mehman Azizov, Azerbaijan, bt Fady Siakaly, Lebanon
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