Kanaan: Suleiman, Miqati’s Failure to Approve $5.9 Bln Bill Aimed at Vindicating Past Governments

Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 23:07
The head of the parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan held President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati responsible for the current “poor” situation regarding the government spending file.

He told As Safir newspaper in remarks published on Thursday: “Their failure to approve the $5.9 billion spending bill is aimed at vindicating previous governments at the expense of public funds and the constitution.”

“Humanitarian, constitutional, and legal principles should not pay the price of such a settlement,” he stressed.

Suleiman is insisting that signing the $5.9 billion bill is a constitutional violation as it includes irregularities that should be settled by the parliament through the adoption of the reservations expressed by the legislature’s spending and budget committee.

Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun accused the president on Tuesday of forcing the government to violate the constitution by spending illegally in an attempt to appease the March 14 opposition concerning its demands to find a comprehensive solution to the extra-budgetary spending made since 2005, the last time Lebanon had an official state budget.

Baabda palace sources told As Safir Wednesday that Suleiman rejects allegations that he is seeking to settle the dispute on the $11 billion spent by the governments of ex-Premiers Fouad Saniora and Saad Hariri.

“Had the president wanted to cover up the $11 billion spending as some claim, he wouldn’t have proposed a solution to the $5.9 billion,” they said.

His visitors however quoted Suleiman as saying that the March 8 forces “agree outside the cabinet on whatever they want and they go there to impose” their opinion.
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