Lebanon's Cabinet to secure vote of confidence

On Tuesday, Hariri presented Parliament with its policy statement which aims to tackle Lebanon's underlying economic and political issues.
by Georgi Azar

12 February 2019 | 15:52

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 12 February 2019 | 15:52

A file photo of Lebanon's Parliament in downtown Beirut (Annahar)

BEIRUT: Parliament is set to endorse the newly formed government's policy statement this week. 

On Tuesday, Hariri presented Parliament with his government's policy statement which aims to tackle Lebanon's underlying economic and political issues. 

Hariri affirmed that his government, which came to fruition almost two weeks ago, is dedicated to implementing drastic reforms to unlock part of the Cedre investment package agreed in Paris last year. The package, worth over $11 billion dollars, seeks to kickstart Lebanon's economy and rejuvenate its ailing infrastructure. 

To curb Lebanon's budget deficit, which has ballooned to over 11 percent of GDP, the Cabinet will seek to reduce the deficit by 1 percent each year over the next five years by limiting government expenditures, namely subsidies to state-owned Electrité Du Liban before cutting them off completely. 

The statement also vows to finally provide citizens with round the clock power "in the quickest time possible," Hariri said. 

In respect to Lebanon's potential offshore oil and gas reserves, the statement vows to secure the country's maritime borders before undergoing the second phase of tenders before the end of the year.

Last week, Lebanon's Cabinet endorsed its new policy statement, shaping the new government's political and economic agenda for upcoming years.

The Cabinet must secure the support of 65 MPs, or the equivalent of half of Parliament's 128 members plus one for the vote of confidence to be successful. 

The statement also reiterates Lebanon's policy of dissociation from regional conflicts, which was agreed upon following Prime Minister Saad Hariri's short-lived resignation in 2017. 

Following the approval of the policy statement, the government will move forward with discussing and approving the 2019 draft state budget.

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