The President of the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi, consulted deputies on the nomination of the next Prime Minister. In the final outcome 100 members of the parliament proposed president Al-Hariri, while 26 deputies, among whom Dakkach, Harb and Saad, didn't nominate him.
President Al-Hrawi first met with deputy Fawzi Hobeich, who called for a consistent government, then, deputy Ahmed Karameh , on behalf of the Bloc of Development and changing who nominated President Al-Hariri for the post. Deputy Mosbah El-Ahdab did the same.
Sheikh Boutros Harb left to the President the right to choose. Deputies Qabalan Isa El-Khoury, Soleiman Franjieh, Mohammad Kabbara, Assem Qanso, Abd Errahman Abd Errahman, Nayla Moawad, Abd Errahim Mourad, along with President Selim El-Hoss, proposed president Al-Hariri as the next Prime Minister.
Deputy Mostafa Saad, on the other hand asked for a certain plan of action, to be adopted by the next president of the cabinet . President Al-Hariri was nominated by deputies Nassib Lahoud, Camile Ziadeh and Rachid El-Khazen.
Deputy Ibrahim Bayyan, on Behalf of the Bloc of Devotion for the Resistance, said he has set forth specific characters a Prime Minister should have, and deputy Pierre Dakkach didn't propose name, but asked for a plan to be discussed.
Finally, President Al-Hrawi received deputy Nahad Said, who also nominated President Al-Hariri for this post.
The French President, Jack Chirac, arrived yesterday at 19:05 to Beirut International Airport, where he was received by the President of the Republic Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi, The President of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berreh, the Prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, Ministers Yassine Jaber and Fares Bweiz, The Chief Commander of the Army, General Emil Lahoud, deputy Khatchick Babekyan, the French ambassador in Lebanon, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lafond, the Lebanese ambassador in France, Naji Abou Asi, along with many other ambassadors and general directors. Then, the two presidents headed for the main rostrum where they were greeted by a detachment of the Republican Guard, after which both the French and Lebanese anthems were played. The two presidents made it afterwards to the new reception room where they held a ten-minutes closed meeting, and left together to Baabda.
In Baabda another meeting was held at 20:00 between the two presidents of the Republics; At 20:30 they joined, at the cabinet room, the Prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, Ministers Bweiz, Sanyoura, and Jaber, the general secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Zafer Al-Hassan, the director of political issues in the same Ministry, Mr. Samir El-Khoury, the Lebanese ambassador in Paris, Naji Abou Asi, the director of the Bank of Lebanon, Ryad Salameh, and the acting general director of the Presidential Palace, Mr. Mohmoud Othman.
Also was present the French Secretary of State Mr. Herve Decharrette, Minister of Economy and trade, Mr. Hyves Galand, vice-director of Northern Africa and Middle East Department, Mr. Stephan-Joe Peters, besides the French ambassador in Beirut, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lafond.
At the end of the meeting, they all went to have dinner in the banquet President Al-Hrawi prepared on the honour of the French President and the accompanying delegation.
President Berreh visited yesterday the President of the Republic in Baabda. Then president Al-Hariri was called upon, and a tripartite meeting was held at once. After the meeting, president Berreh declared that, as a result of the parliamentary consultations president Al-Hrawi has had, president Rafiq Al-Hariri was entrusted to form a new government.
He also stated that he would like the cabinet to be parliamentary, with some other Ministers, but this was left to the consultations, which would start on Saturday. Asked if the new government would have an economic rescue plan, President Al-Hariri stated the economic situation was very good and it was the social problems which must be dealt with.
He added that his new government would have a program, and that, the Israeli occupation, as well as blocking the peace process, won't hinder the development projects.
The American charge d'affairs in Lebanon, Mr. Rhon Shleiker visited yesterday the Secretary of State, Mr. Fares Bweiz, in Bustros Palace.
After the meeting, Shleiker expected the Consultancy Group for the Reconstruction of Lebanon to hold its first meeting on December 16th.
Commenting on French President visit to Lebanon, he said his country was coordinating with France since the Independence war, and their common aim was just comprehensive and lasting peace in the region. Bweiz also received a parliamentary delegation of the German Socialist and Democratic Party, in a visit to Lebanon, and headed by Christophe Shubel. The latter declared he discussed with Minister Bweiz the European interests within the peace process in the region. He said he was astonished by the progress of development and reconstruction in Lebanon, which would encourage investment.
Deputy Najah Wakim held a press conference, during which he criticized the way the government was settling local problems. He started by greeting the press reporters; then he said that this year will be devoted to fighting the administrative corruption. Wakim spoke about the illegal enrichment and read the related legislative decree. He called for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to check the documents he possessed, and asked all honest judges to cooperate and work together, in order to form a judicial committee, which would inspect the administration; furthermore, deputy Wakim said he was ready to provide all necessary information which he possessed.
Wakim also considered the issue of public money loss and defalcation, within the South Council, and the Dislodged National Fund. He talked about bribes in public institutions, even in Ministries, and about selling the State realestate properties in verdun, and other places.
He declared that No-man's-land in kfarselwan was sold by the Mouhafez, Amin Hamoud, for $100,000 US, though it belonged to the village inhabitants. Those have, however, instituted legal proceeding before the state council. No-man's-land were also sold in Aid-Dara, Al-Barouk, Qarnayeh and Falougha.
During a press conference, attended by deputy Akram Choheib and the general director of youth and sports Mr. Zayd Kyami, the Lebanese Football Federation launched yesterday the campaign of nominating Lebanon as the hosting country for the 2000 Asian Cup.
The general secretary of the federation, Rafiq Alamah, declared the Lebanese Football Federation took on this step with the total support of the Lebanese government, represented by its head, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri.
In coordination with the Engineering consultant company, Lacyco, plans were made to supply all stadiums with the most recent equipments, especially the Olympic stadium in the Sport City, the new Beirut local stadium, as well as Bourj Hammoud local stadium, Rachid Karameh and Jamal Abd Ennaser stadiums.
The Federation will provide 18 training stadiums, for the participating teams, among which Assafa, Annejmeh, the American University of Beirut, Al-Hekmeh, the Arab University and Achabiba. It will also build new stadiums, in Daoura, Tripoli and the Bekaa.
Five countries offered to host the cup: Lebanon, China, Malaya, South Korea and Hong Kong.
A delegation of the Asian Football Federation will arrive on November 9th to Beirut to check, the organization as well as provided facilities and the stadiums status.
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