BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk said Wednesday that the Lebanese amnesty law will be adopted shortly, as Lebanese from Bekaa, Sidon, and Tripoli have been protesting for a general amnesty law that would release of thousands of prisoners.
The detained are accused of a variety of offenses, ranging from drug to terrorism charges.
Speaking from the Ramada hotel, Machnouk said “hopefully the first draft of the amnesty law will be quickly approved by Parliament as a result of the great effort showed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and a number of Future Movement ministers."
On Tuesday, President Michel Aoun signed a decree calling an extraordinary legislative session going into effect immediately until March 19, in an attempt to ratify the 2018 draft state budget ahead of the Paris IV donor conference on April 6.
According to Mashnouq the draft budget, referred to parliament, includes a clause to amend working hours in public institutions on Fridays. Working hours will now run from 8 am till 11 am.
The interior minister also renewed his call on citizens to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held on May 6, maintaining that “these elections are pivotal especially in Beirut, where every vote makes a difference in defending the capital and its people.”
According to Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, the budget includes cuts that would decrease the deficit by LBP 220 billion compared to 2017, adding that no new taxes would be introduced.
Lebanon's budget deficit currently stands at LBP 8 trillion, hindering Lebanon's ability to raise around 16 billion dollars in Paris for the country's investment program.
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