Lebanon’s new PM confident to meet constitutional deadlines

Beirut, Feb 16: Lebanon’s new Prime Minister Tammam Salam said Saturday that his newly-formed cabinet will be able to meet constitutional deadlines, media reported.

“The new cabinet should be able to stage the presidential elections on time and approve a new parliamentary electoral law,” Naharnet website quoted Salam as saying after the formation of the new government, Xinhua reported.

The prime minister said the first cabinet session will be held Feb 18.

According to the constitution, presidential elections should be held two months prior to the end of the ruling president’s mandate which ends May 25. Therefore, the elections are presumably to be held between March 25 and May 25.

Salam also urged the political powers to cooperate in order to tackle pending issues in Lebanon, most notably the security instability, hoping that they would “back the army in its mission to maintain peace and safeguard Lebanon from regional conflicts, as well as combat terrorism and cater to the concerns of Syrian refugees.”

A 24-minister cabinet was announced in Lebanon earlier Saturday, 10 months after Salam’s appointment, which ended a deadlock that has threatened to plunge the country into chaos.

IANS