Ghosn Denies Signing Qahwaji's Term Extension Draft-Law
Caretaker Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn denied on Wednesday reports saying that he has inked a draft-law that delays the retirement of Army Chief General Jean Qahwaji, based on article 55 of the defense law.
"I haven't signed the decree yet... We're still mulling the adequate solution for the matter," Ghosn told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3).
Earlier, al-Liwaa newspaper reported that Ghosn signed the draft law on Tuesday and referred it to caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati and President Michel Suleiman for their signature.
The draft-law includes the postponement of Qahwaji's retirement for six renewable months, the daily reported.
Qahwaji turns 60 in September, the age of retirement for army commanders.
However, sources close to the caretaker minister denied to OTV that Ghosn signed any draft-law concerning Qahwaji's mandate.
Sources close to al-Mustaqbal movement said that the extension of Qahwaji's mandate is a priority to confront attempts to destabilize Lebanon's security and stability.
Al-Mustaqbal's decision came after it has allegedly linked the extension of Qahwaji's term to the return of Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi to his ISF command post.
Meanwhile, An Nahar newspaper reported that the decision to extend Qahwaji's term was unanimous.
However, the daily said that Qahwaji prefers that the extension decision be approved by the parliament.
Parliament has so far failed to convene over the veto of several blocs among them al-Mustaqbal to deliberate on 45 draft-laws, including the extension of Qahwaji's mandate.