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Lebanon’s Premiership Slams Campaign on Constitutional Prerogatives | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Photo by NNA

Beirut- Lebanon’s premiership has responded to what it called a “campaign” alleging Prime Minister Saad Hariri has abandoned his prerogatives by transferring them to the Director General of the Presidency.

This is a routine decision to facilitate the work and has nothing to do with constitutional powers, said Hariri’s spokesman Hani Hammoud at a press conference he held on Friday.

“We meet today because of the campaign” that claims “Hariri abandoned his prerogatives by transferring them to the Director General of the Presidency of the Republic, because he signed a decree dated January 4, 2017 authorizing the Director General to execute some of the tasks, and not prerogatives, entrusted to the Prime Minister, which are in fact administrative tasks,” he told reporters.

“Those in charge of this campaign should know that they are targeting all former prime ministers, without exception,” Hariri’s press advisor said.

None of the ex-premiers abandoned their constitutional prerogatives, but they delegated administrative prerogatives on employee leaves at the presidential palace or disciplinary action against public servants, and the transfer of funds within the budget of the presidency, to facilitate the work within the Directorate General of the Presidency, stressed Hammoud.

“The constitutional prerogatives cannot be abandoned by anyone in favor of anyone because they are stipulated in the Constitution through Article 64. But the prime minister has other tasks, purely administrative, that require the signing of administrative papers. And as we have seen, in order to facilitate the work and simplify the procedures, all the heads of government signed similar decisions,” he said.

Hammoud advised the people behind the campaign to read the Constitution.

Asked whether the campaign is a result of inter-Sunni strife, Hariri’s spokesman denied such conflict, saying “some parties believe that if they lie, they might achieve their goals.”

“Let them choose another topic in which they are more competent,” he added.