Former GLC leader Elias Abu-Rizk was today elected president of the General Labor Confederation. Two other candidates were running for the elections: Tawfik Abu-Khalil and George Harb. 51 out of 56 members in the body participated in today's elections. Bassam Tleis was also elected as the secretary general of Arab relations. At GLC headquarters yesterday, the body's executive council failed to meet due to a lack of quorum. The meeting was supposed to ask outgoing GLC president Ghanim Al-Zoghbi to go back on his resignation.
President Elias Al-Hrawi today called on continuing the building process of the government so as not to lose all what was accomplished. He was speaking during the commemoration ceremony of Independence Figure Adel Osseiran.
In Baabda, Hrawi met this morning Minister Michel Eddeh. He later received the retired general Aziz Al-Ahdab. Hrawi will open this evening the Byblos festival which will be inaugurated with a performance by Romeo Lahhoud.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today called for respecting the law stressing no reconstruction and development will be accomplished without a government of institutions which is protected by the law. The premier also reiterated to his visitors his concern for political stability in the months that precede the upcoming presidential elections. Also at government palace, the premier discussed with the head of the National Syrian Socialist Party, Ali Qansou, the political situation in the country and some of the party's demands. Qansou later reported the premier's concern for the success of the project of building the government. Hariri later met the British Ambassador to Lebanon David McLenin.
Shortly after the General Labor Confederation elected its president, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri congratulated the union for restoring its unity and electing Elias Abu-Rizk as president. Hariri added such a step is evidence of the democratic spirit prevalent in the country. The premier also hoped this will enhance objective and constructive dialogue between the government and the union with the purpose of safeguarding the interests of the workers as well as their country.
House Speaker Nabih Berri today told his visitors what is important in today's GLC elections is the fact that the body has regained its unity. At parliament, Berri received the board of directors of the public housing institution headed by Antoine Shamoon. He later met the head of the National News Agency Rafik Shlala. Discussions centered on the situation of some employees at the Information Ministry and the necessity of including their case in the public sector salary scales discussions.
Joint Parliamentary Committees today decided to pay the retroactive effect of the public sector pay scales draft law over a period of five years starting on the beginning of next year. This according to suggestions by deputies Khalil Al-Hrawi and Mohammed Abdel Hamid Baydoun. Deputy House Speaker Elie Al-Firzli who headed today's session later said the retroactive effect costs an amount of one billion and a half Lebanese Liras. Firzli added the public sector pay scales project will be finalized next Thursday. Joint committees still have to discuss clauses related to Lebanese University Teachers and Information Ministry employees.
Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa today received at his office the French ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Jouanneau. Talks centered on possible way to boost media cooperation between France and Lebanon. The meeting was attended by the head of the Lebanese National News Agency Rafik Shlala and the audio-visual department officer at the French embassy. Jouanneau later said the French side showed a will to help improve the situation of the state-run Tele Liban and especially Channel 9 which broadcasts French movies and programs.
On the eve of Lebanese Army Day, General Emile Lahhoud received congratulatory statements and letters praising the performance of the army and stressing its readiness for deployment in the occupied zone as soon as Israel withdraws. Streets in different areas of the country were decorated with banners in celebration of the occasion. The banners expressed support for the army and its stances regarding the necessity of preserving national security and stability.
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