Kataeb chief Samy Gemayel on Wednesday questioned the government over the delay in submitting and discussing the 2018 draft budget, seeking clarifications on why it hasn't so far finalized the audits of year 2017 as stipulated by the Constitution.
In a letter addressed to Speaker Nabih Berri, Gemayel asked that the government would be questioned on the ongoing budget procrastination, warning that the failure to refer the audits of the last two years to the Parliament jeopardizes public finances and allows unregulated spending.
"Why hasn't the government convened to discuss the 2018 draft budget and referred it to the Parliament along with the final accounts of the year 2016 so that it would be put to the vote? Why hasn't the Finance Minister submitted a detailed report as stipulated by the Constitution? Why is the government insisting on disrespecting constitutional and legal deadlines?" Gemayel asked in his letter.
The lawmaker based his questioning on Articles 17, 18, 32 and 83 of the Constitution, requiring that the government submits to the Parliament the general budget at the beginning of the October session, and that the finance minister presents the draft budget to the government by September.
The Kataeb leader demanded that his question would be referred to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, asking them to provide a written response within fifteen days pursuant to Article 124 of the Parliament's by-laws. Otherwise, an interrogation will be launched, pursuant to Article 126 of the Parliament's by-laws.