The new Lebanese parliament elects its committees: the political system is back and above

The change deputies managed to break up a number of parliamentary committees (Hussein Beydoun)

Today, Tuesday, the Lebanese parliamentary session saw unprecedented democratic elections at the level of parliamentary committees, after the traditional blocs controlled the process and circumvented the constitutional and legal mechanisms. This is despite the results that have largely brought the pillars of the system back into their positions, especially in the two most important committees at the present stage, namely “Finance and Budget”, with one violation recorded for the change deputies, and “Administration and Justice” , while two wanted men won in the case of the Beirut port explosion: representatives Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zuaiter (who belong to the Amal movement led by Nabih Berri).

And after completing the election of Parliament Speaker (Nabih Berri) for a seventh term last week, his deputy, Elias Bou Saab (who belongs to the Strong Lebanon bloc under the leadership of Representative Gibran Bassil), President Michel Aoun’s son-in-law ) and parliament’s bureau, the second term ended, today, Tuesday, which included the election of 16 parliamentary committees. , which will be followed by the call of the Speaker of Parliament within 3 days of the committees to meet and each of them as president and rapporteur among its members, provided attention remains focused on Aoun’s expected call for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate the designated president to form the new government, which he justified in the delay until the committee elections are completed. Suggest that the invitation be very close.

Returning to today’s session, the changes imposed by the “Change Representatives” bloc, with its rejection of the previous consensus proposal, disturbed the traditional forces. They did not hide their dissatisfaction with the time needed to each committee (16) and each time to elect. try to propose the idea of ​​consensus and the withdrawal of candidates for the process of ending quickly and passing “Lashes”, the most prominent of which is the statement of the deputy of the “Free Patriotic Movement” (led by Gebran Bassil) was, son-in-law of President Michel Aoun), Salim Aoun, “so that the vote continues as long as we do not want to take away the democratic marriage.”

Confusion prevailed, similar to the sitting for the election of the Parliament’s office, as the election takes place for the first time in accordance with the regulations, therefore the Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri, revoked the possibility of consensus and that he week was granted for what did not happen, and repeated his call during the session to save time, by withdrawing the number allocated to the members allocated to each committee If the committee consists of 17 members and 20 candidates nominated, once 3 are withdrawn from the list, the list wins the rest of it, which was not accepted by a number of MPs, especially the “exchangers” among them who had previously rejected the previous consensus.

The MP in the Changers bloc, Firas Hamdan, also objected to the ambiguity about the nomination mechanism and that the papers on which the names of the candidates were pre-printed requested candidacy and inclusion of his name in the finances and budget. committees, and then requests his inclusion in the candidates for the Administration and Justice Committee.

A sharp argument has been made in this regard between Hamdan and the representative of the Berri bloc, Ali Hassan Khalil (a warrant for arrest was issued in absentia against him in the case of the Beirut port explosion), and while Khalil Hamdan said, “Listen, my son,” Hamdan replied, “I am your colleague, not your son.”

Among the situations also recorded, followed by a wave of resentment and objections, was Berri’s remark, which was considered offensive to the words of Representative Paula Yacoubian about the fact that the maritime border demarcation file was not placed on the agenda. She did not marry. , we do not want to talk about her, not her sand like her husband’s, her husband is our friend, AB Legislation says there is no legislation during the election session.It seems that there are people who come to the council so you can only see.

The election of the 17 members of the Finance and Budget Committee lasted two and a half hours, and is considered one of the most important parliamentary committees, especially in the current situation due to its role in important economic, financial and monetary files in the determining the future of the country, which is in a total collapse, but it did not show major changes at the level of names with Recording a violation of the change MP Ibrahim Mneimneh, while politically discolored between the traditionalists and the independents.

The Finance and Budget Committee is composed of Ibrahim Kanaan (his former head belongs to the Basil Bloc and has a great chance of returning), Raji Al-Saad, Ali Hassan Khalil, Ayoub Hamid, Alan Aoun, Jihad Al-Samad , Hassan Fadlallah, Michel Moawad, Salim Aoun, Ghada Ayoub, Ihab Matar, Ghazi Zuaiter (accused of the Beirut port explosion), Ibrahim Mneimneh, Jean Taluzian, Ali Fayyad, Ghassan Hasbani, Fouad Makhzoumi.

As for the Administration and Justice Committee, which is also one of the most important committees at the present stage, and has a role in key files, of which the independence of the judiciary is especially the independence of the judiciary, the change deputies could not break make in It.

It was won by representatives George Adwan (its former president belongs to the Lebanese Power Party led by Samir Geagea and has great chances of returning), Qabalan Qabalan, George Okeis, Ashraf Baydoun, Ali Hassan Khalil, Marwan Hamadeh, Ghada Ayoub, Hassan Ezzedine, Ghazi Zuaiter, Hussein Hajj Hassan, George Atallah, Ali Khreis, Imad Al-Hout, Osama Saad, Bilal Abdullah, Nadim Al-Jamil and Ibrahim Kanaan, noting that a single representative is not on more than two of the council’s committees can not be unless the third committee is either the Human Rights Committee or the Women and Children Committee or Information Technology.

While the electoral process at the level of other committees went smoother and faster, as it was not a conflict as was the case with the two previously mentioned committees, and the majority of them were resolved by acclamation. Human rights, women and children.

The economic researcher and founding member of the “Depositors’ Association” Nizar Ghanem told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the two main parliamentary committees are finance, budget, administration and justice, as they play a key role in many of the files that is on the table today, including the discussion of the financial recovery plan approved by Najib Mikati’s government before his accession The stage of doing business, which will determine the shape of the Lebanese economy for thirty years in the future.

Among the important files to be studied by the Finance Committee, says Ghanem, is the “emergency law to restructure the banking sector to be approved, which sets out an executive framework for the recovery plan and determines how to structure the sector and who will bear the losses. wear. , which will undoubtedly create a violent confrontation between the change representatives and the bank representatives, Therefore, the first party must be the voice of the people in Parliament and the committee, so that the emergency law bears the losses for the big shareholders and not for the small depositors . ”

Ghanem added: “There is also the Capital Control Act, which is present in the committees and has been thrown on the street several times, in which the problem lies in the formula it carries and protects banks from lawsuits. Therefore, a law should be passed that “not legally protecting banks, but rather protecting the Lebanese economy and the general budget, in addition to the banking secrecy law. And other financial laws that require a great deal of work within the committee.”

Similarly, the Administration and Justice Committee, according to Ghanem, has a lot of work to do on the emergency law, the independence of the judiciary, the conditions of prisoners, especially those who have spent years without trial, in addition to the file of military courts with the need to removed from their scope, and the change movement has already dragged a lot of Military Courts in violation of the Constitution and other files.

Consequently, Ghanem sees the importance of the breach in especially the Finance and Budget Committee, which is seen as a kitchen for corruption transactions, and notes that the ceiling of expectations should not be raised at the level of change representatives as they have no ability to overthrow the balance of power within Parliament, but their voice will inevitably be loud to establish a cultural accountability, and it is also important that they show the deliberations that take place in a transparent manner in public, to a future in the coming to establish parliamentary elections to form a weighty bloc in Parliament.

It should be noted that delegates can participate in committee sessions even if they are not in it, but they are not entitled to vote.

Ghanem points out that the role of the two committees has been bad during the last period, especially the money and budget, which served as the Banking Committee and its coverage to prevent bankruptcy, and emphasizes that the lesson remains in the legislation, the Parliamentary Assembly and a real reform workshop.

Asaad Sammour, head of the editorial and study department at the Lebanese Observatory for Workers’ and Employees’ Rights, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the importance of parliamentary committees lies in their role as the kitchen of legislation and laws, and ‘ a law can not be issued without going through it until it has been discussed, approved and ratified. It will be transferred to the House of Representatives.

He believes “the problem is not whether the parliamentary committees play their role or not, but rather with the Lebanese system as a whole, as the war ended and the militias handed over their weapons to the state, while the latter surrendered themselves to the militias and the centers of power have become outside state institutions. ”

Sammour adds: “The one who decides the laws, their form and articles is not Parliament in an ordinary session, but rather agreed beforehand, except for the dialogue tables that come from outside the government or the House of Representatives, from which certain decisions are transferred after ratification, whether in the form of decrees or laws, including the election of a president. The Republic, the settlement is obtained in advance, a name is agreed and then the parliamentary session is held, and therefore all institutions are completely emptied of their role.

Sammour believes that “understandings that usually take place outside the framework of legislative and official institutions may clash with the presence of the exchange bloc within parliament and parliamentary committees, declaring that the evaluation of their work requires time and stations to proceed. build.”

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