MIKATI’S PRESS OFFICE: MEDIA CAMPAIGNS LAUNCHED AGAINST THE PM LACK CREDIBILITY

Prime Minister Najib Mikati's press office issued a statement this evening, in which it indicated that the recent media campaigns launched against the Prime Minister lack credibility and reasoning. It said: 'Since the Council of Ministers issued the decision to appoint Major General Hassan Audeh as Chief of Staff, a number of politicians and journalists launched a campaign against the decision and accused the Prime Minister and the government of confiscating the powers of the President of the Republic and overthrowing the Taif Agreement... Some also fantasized about alleged scenarios of communication between the Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Shura Council, Judge Fadi Elias....' The statement categorically denied such allegations, asserting that 'His Excellency the Prime Minister did not consult with the Chairman of the State Shura Council regarding the appointment issue, and no communication occurred between them regarding this dossier or any other, and therefore everything that is said to the co ntrary is a mere fabrication with known directions...' The statement continued to emphasize that the Prime Minister was clear in his approach to this file when it was presented to the Council of Ministers, as he explained the reasons for the decision and its necessity to ensure the stability of the army institution, following the Defense Minister's stance in refraining to carry out his duty in this regard. 'It was necessary for the Council of Ministers, with its comprehensive authority, to take the appropriate decision,' the statement maintained. It went on to state that if some are not in favor of the decision, they can always resort to legal methods to appeal it, assuring that the government will submit to any judicial decision that may be issued in this regard in the event of any appeal, adding that the Prime Minister has clearly stated this in the appointment session, while reiterating his adherence to the Taif Agreement. Finally, the statement concluded by stressing that 'the clear truth is that the government is managing the affairs of the state and its people, while others are refraining from carrying out their duty in electing a new president, to restore full compliance with the work of constitutional institutions...Elect a president so Lebanon can rest!' Source: National News Agency - Lebanon

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