Lebanese Parliament OKs Extending State of Emergency
Story Code : 880046
The cabinet declared Beirut to be under a state of emergency on August 5 for a period of two weeks by an executive order. Lebanese law states that the cabinet may only issue a state of emergency for eight days. The parliament must approve any period stated within the executive order beyond the first eight days.
The decree was signed on August 7, making Thursday the eighth official day of the state of emergency. The parliament convened and approved the remaining period of the state of emergency, which will now run for the full two weeks called for by Cabinet. It will end on August 21.
The general session was held at UNESCO Palace as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, to ensure greater physical distance between MPs in the auditorium.
It began with a minute of silence in respect for the victims of the blast.
Roads leading to UNESCO Palace were closed off and security checkpoints were put in place, as protests were expected by angry Lebanese demanding justice and accountability for the Beirut blast and the removal of the entire political class.
At the start of the session, the resignation of seven MPs was confirmed by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. The resignation of an eighth MP, Marwan Hamade, was later confirmed by default as he did not attend the session.
With eight ministers resigned, parliamentary by-elections should be held within two months.
MPs of the Lebanese Forces’ Strong Republic parliamentary bloc boycotted the session.
A state of emergency per legislative decree no. 52/1967 grants the Army exceptional powers over civilian matters and is responsible for the city’s security matters, and all armed units including the Internal Security Forces, General Security, State Security, Customs and armed forces in other establishments are under their command.