BEIRUT — Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Tuesday scheduled a plenary session for Monday, September 26 at 10:30 a.m., to continue voting on the 2022 budget, the state-owned National News Agency reported. Last Friday, Berri adjourned the Parliament session after around two hours of discussions, following a withdrawal of some MPs from the session which resulted in a lack of quorum.
Here's what we know:
• Berri had convened Parliament last week to vote on the budget during a three-day session. Parliament's lack of quorum occurred after the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb refused to participate due to former President Bachir Gemayel's 40-year assassination commemoration, while Friday's sessions also did not reach quorum. Parliament had barely scratched the surface of the 121 items to be voted on, stumbling from the start on the issue of the country's exchange rate.
• Approving the budget is one of the reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to release $3 billion over four years in order to help lift Lebanon from its ongoing financial crisis. An IMF delegation arrived in Beirut on Monday for a three-day mission to "try to accelerate" the process of implementing priority reforms set out in the preliminary agreement signed with Lebanon in late April.
• The IMF delegation, led by the organization's mission chief for Lebanon Ernesto Ramirez-Rigo, met on Monday with Berri who emphasized "the determination of the Parliament to intensify its work to accomplish the reforms" required by the monetary institution.
Correction: An earlier version of this article had said Parliament did not reach quorum on Thursday. To clarify, Parliament did not reach quorum on Wednesday and Friday.