The Council of Ministers on Thursday convened in session at Baabda Presidential Palace under the chairmanship of President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, and approved a series of judicial appointments within the scope of the justice, administrative, and financial judiciary -- finally filling vacant state positions with full-time judges instead of a number of acting judges, who had filled these positions for more than 15 years.
Accordingly, Judge Suheil Abboud has been appointed first President of the Court of Cassation, and President of the Supreme Judicial Council; Judge Ghassan Oweidat has been appointed Deputy Public Prosecutor; Judge Fadi Elias has been appointed Speaker of the State Shura Council, and Judge Mohammed Badran has been appointed head of the Court of Audit.
Moreover, the Council of Ministers has also taken note of Hassan Ezzeddine's victory, by acclamation, in Tyre's by-elections, and approved the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, as well as other impending items on the cabinet's agenda.
Responding to a question whether the 2020 state budget has been distributed to ministers, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Salim Jreissati, affirmed that the project bill would be distributed the soonest possible, as promised by the Minister of Finance.
As for the Ministry of Defense's presentation of the final draft of the Integrated Border Management Strategy in Lebanon, the Minister said that the discussion of the aforementioned project had been postponed at the request of the minister of defense himself.
Whether the reported political agreement that preceded the judiciary appointments heralded future political interference in the judiciary, Jreissati rebuffed such claim, explaining that appointments have strictly abided by legal texts, including the provisions of the Constitution, the law of the judiciary, and the law of the Court of Audit.
Responding to a question why the aforesaid mechanism had not been respected when former information minister, Melhem Riachy, had proposed names to appoint a chairman for Tele Liban, Jreissati asserted that the current Minister of Information would propose the names he wished to nominate for the chairmanship of Tele Liban, ruling out the possibility of appointing someone without name suggestions by the Minister of Information.
It is to note that the cabinet session was preceded by a meeting between President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri, during which the pair discussed topics on session's agenda.
Source: National News Agency