Report: Franjieh Succeeds in Bridging Differences between Aoun-Berri

Posted on: July 23, 2012 at 01:26
Efforts exerted by Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh to end a spat between Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri is yielding positive results, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Sunday.

Sources close to Franjieh stressed that the ongoing contacts with Berri and the contacts carried out by Hizbullah have led to consensus over the matter.

Differences between the two men grew after Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc and other Christian blocs boycotted a parliamentary session to protest the approval of the joint parliamentary committees’ proposal to permanently employ Electricite du Liban’s contract workers after having to sit for a closed exam, which will be held by the Civil Service Board.

The lawmakers argued that the permanent employment of those workers would create a sectarian imbalance at the state-run firm as around 80 percent of them belong to non-Christian sects and most of them support Berri, who is a Shiite.

According to the daily, Franjieh’s initiative is expected to result in a meeting between Energy Minister Jebran Bassil, who is Aoun’s son-in-law, and the speaker.

Al-Hayat reported that the concerned parties will discuss the possibility of modifying the previously approved draft law.

Bassil had previously proposed to allow 700 contract workers to stand for an official exam, out of some 2,500 employees, while the rest would become employees at private companies under a three-month probation period.

The approval of the full-time employment led to accusations by the FPM that Berri violated the protocol.
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