Parliament Launches Confidence Rounds Tuesday

Lebanon’s parliament prepares to hold three consecutive sessions this week to discuss the government’s vote of confidence, which is expected to garner a confidence majority due to its composition that brought together most of the political spectrum, the Kuwaiti al-Rai daily reported Monday.

The parliament will convene on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the ministerial statement of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government, which was endorsed in a record time, on the basis of which the government would seek a vote of the parliament’s confidence.

A ministerial panel composed of seven ministers was tasked to draft the statement last Wednesday. It was able to endorse it in a time record of only two sessions, after which the cabinet convened and approved it. It will be referred to Speaker Nabih Berri and discussed at parliament.

Unnamed sources told the daily that “both, President Michel Aoun and PM Hariri seek to give a quiet and consistent push toward a strong government progress, which was evident since the formation of the cabinet a week ago.

“Likewise, Speaker Nabih Berri has rushed to set a date for the parliament hearings as soon as the cabinet approved the policy statement.”

Over the weekend, the cabinet, chaired by Aoun, convened at the Presidential Palace in Baabda and approved the government’s policy statement.

Lebanon acquired a new 30-minister government last Sunday which brought together the entire political spectrum except for the Kataeb Party that rejected to be represented by a state minister.

The government was formed six weeks after the election of Aoun.

New portfolios include an anti-corruption post and, for the first time, a minister of state for women’s affairs.

Hariri’s appointment and Aoun’s election after two and a half years of presidential vacuum have raised hopes that Lebanon can begin tackling challenges including a stagnant economy, a moribund political class and the influx of more than a million Syrian refugees.

The government agreed on its policy statement on Saturday and it is expected to win a vote of confidence during the parliamentary sessions that will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.