Suleiman Rejects Heading Interim Cabinet

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Suleiman Rejects Heading Interim Cabinet

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:46 am

Army
chief Gen. Michel Suleiman has rejected a proposal to head an interim
cabinet, saying such a move is against the constitution.


Future
News TV on Monday reported that Suleiman's visitors quoted him as
saying the proposal is an outright violation of the Taef accord and
averts efforts aimed at facilitating the election of the army commander
president.


Only
an elected president can appoint a head of an interim government. But
Lebanon has been without a head of state since the term of Emile Lahoud
ended. While bickering politicians have agreed on Suleiman as a
consensus candidate, his election has been held up because the
opposition is demanding veto power over government decisions, something
the majority strongly rejects.


Free
Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun was quoted Friday as
proposing a compromise based on appointing Suleiman head of an interim
cabinet that would sponsor parliamentary elections.


George al-Aaraj, representative of the so-called Liberal Tigers faction, told reporters he discussed the idea with Aoun.

"Gen. Aoun said the idea is part of his perspective," Aaraj added.

Suleiman's
visitors also said that the army chief, who was scheduled to retire on
November 21, insisted that he would leave his post on August 21.


They said he will spend his accumulated vacation days outside Lebanon.

According
to the TV report, Suleiman also said that he would only accept
parliament to extend his mandate for a short period but on another
condition that the extension bill clearly states his functions on one
side and that bickering politicians commit to elect a president on the
other side.


His
visitors quoted him as saying that he would have accepted for the
defense minister to make the extension proposal and the cabinet to
agree on it. But given the current situation in Lebanon, extension of
his mandate should be made by parliament.


Suleiman reportedly was also not against the appointment of Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Shawki Masri as his successor.

The army commander reassured the Lebanese that the security situation is stable in Lebanon.

"The
situation is stable and there is no fear of any security jolts
particularly that the armed forces" are working hard to keep security
tight.



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