What to expect from the Lebanese parliament in 2018

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (C) sits next to Minister of Public Health Ghassan Hasbani (L) during a parliament session in downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (C) sits next to Minister of Public Health Ghassan Hasbani (L) during a parliament session in downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Annahar  reported that observers expect  numerous draft laws are going to be reviewed  by relevant parliamentary committees in 2018 . The main focus will be:.

BANNING UNDERAGE MARRIAGE

Lebanon is expected to soon ban under-age marriage, an important step in efforts to promote human rights after Parliament abolished in 2017 a law that allowed rapists to avoid prison by marrying their victims.

While the bill to ban under-age marriage is still being studied by the administrative and judicial parliamentary committees, it is expected to be ratified with little resistance.

REFORMING PENSION PLANS

Another bill currently being finalized pertains to pension plans, with high expectations of its endorsement by parliament within the next two months.

NEW PETROLEUM RELATED LAWS

Lebanon’s prospective petroleum sector gave citizens much to look forward to following the Cabinet’s approval of two bids for offshore oil and gas exploration by a global consortium.

After the ratification of a Petroleum Tax Law, parliamentary committees are currently reviewing three bills pertaining to promoting transparency in the oil and gas sector, establishing a sovereign wealth fund to manage oil and gas revenues and creating a national oil company.

2018 STATE BUDGET

In 2017, Lebanon’s Parliament approved the first state budget since 12 years.

The details of the 2018 state budget are being finalized by the government, with Parliament expected to approve it by March the latest.

ANNAHAR