Lebanon Government to Win Confidence Vote in Parliament

The new government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to receive Wednesday Parliament’s vote of confidence with the majority of blocs supporting him, except for the Kataeb party and some independent deputies.

During the first parliamentary session that kicked off Tuesday to discuss the ministerial statement, Hariri said: “We want this government to be one of actions and not just words.”

The PM said the cabinet “is committed to the quick and active implementation of an economic program that should focus on reforms and investments, and on providing services. The program is also based on the government’s vision that was presented to the CEDRE” conference held in Paris last April to support the country’s economy and infrastructure.

The PM said his new government would commit to fighting corruption. “Lebanese officials do not have the luxury of time amid the challenges that are facing the cabinet.”

Some 66 deputies are expected to speak during four parliamentary sessions, chaired by Speaker Nabih Berri, on two consecutive days.

To gain confidence, the cabinet must win the vote of at least 65 MPs, or half of Parliament’s 128 members plus one. Hariri’s government is expected to clinch that number.

On Tuesday, former Prime Minister Tamam Salam said the reforms would not succeed, unless corruption was eradicated, calling for the activation of control bodies and to remove any power that politicians might have over the judiciary.

MP Hassan Fadlallah stole the limelight with his long presentation on corruption in the public sector. He claimed that if some documents on alleged deals worth millions of dollars were exposed, this would land some ministers in jail.

The deputy called for lifting bank secrecy off the new government’s ministers.

“There are ministers who, in their private meetings, talk about money and deals that amount to up to USD400 million,” he said.