BEIRUT — The Free Patriotic Movement's "Strong Lebanon" parliamentary bloc called on the caretaker government Tuesday evening to take a decision, "negatively or positively," on the municipal elections issue.
The statement came following a parliamentary joint committees meeting on the subject which descended into chaos and reached no decision. The issue of when municipal elections should take place, as well as its financing, is at the forefront of political disagreements.
In the statement, the Strong Lebanon bloc called on the caretaker government "to decide, negatively or positively, on the issue of municipal and elective elections and to stop throwing responsibility on others."
"If not, then let the people be frank and declare boldly that the conditions and circumstances related to the elections do not allow them to be held, and therefore ask what they need from Parliament, as it is not permissible to invite the electorate without securing the funds and capabilities and taking the necessary measures according to what the joint parliamentary committees concluded today," the statement added.
The FPM has so far opposed all of the caretaker cabinet's meetings and has been critical of Mikati. However, the statement — in which the Aounist MPs also brought up the daylight savings time fiasco — stressed that the cabinet can meet if there is an "urgent justification or in case of extreme necessity."
Eight items were on today's parliamentary committees' agenda but no decisions were reached. The Finance and Budget, Administration and Justice, National Defense, Interior and Municipalities committees were supposed to discuss the organization of municipal elections but things were cut short when the session descended into chaos and slander.
The Strong Lebanon bloc said that "what happened in the joint committees in terms of tension is evidence of the seriousness of the situation in the country, which necessitates prudence and control of political discourse to prevent slipping into instinctive and sectarian incitement that leads to unforeseen consequences."