BEIRUT — The Tashnag parliamentary bloc, which is close to the Free Patriotic Movement, on Tuesday evening dismissed caretaker Industry Minister and Zahle MP George Bouchikian following his participation in Monday's cabinet meeting. The Tashnag party had decided to boycott the session along with the FPM.
In a brief statement relayed by local media outlet, the Tashnag central committee announced that "in view of Bouchikian's failure to comply with the party's decision to boycott the session, the committee decided to remove him from the parliamentary bloc" affiliated with the party. "Hence, in any position taken by Bouchikian, he represents himself only," the text continued, following a party meeting held on Tuesday evening.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati's announcement of the cabinet meeting was quickly met by the FPM's decision to boycott it on the grounds that holding session is a "violation of the constitution." Bouchikian signed a joint statement on Sunday with other ministers close to the FPM, saying they would boycott the meeting; however, he then went back on his word, along with caretaker Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar, and attended the session.
The controversial cabinet meeting went ahead at the Grand Serail on Monday morning, despite the boycott of seven out of 24 ministers.