Berri chairs the first morning and evening legislative sessions of Parliament since the May 6 elections. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Armed with consensus among the country's major political blocs, Parliament Monday passed a raft of important bills, including a controversial waste management law and anti-corruption draft laws, in the first of a two-day legislative session. Speaker Nabih Berri chaired the morning and evening legislative sessions, the first since a new Parliament was elected on May 6, in the presence of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and some members of his caretaker Cabinet that raised questions from Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel on whether the ratified draft laws would become effective in the absence of a functioning government. In the evening session, Parliament passed a draft law on electronic transactions and personal data, as well as a judicial mediation draft law and anti-graft bills.The draft law was approved by joint parliamentary committees on Sept. 13 .Parliament later ratified a draft law aimed at protecting corruption whistleblowers despite opposition from several MPs. The three Kataeb MPs voted against the law.Hariri himself conceded the law needed some amendments – such as to do with the way it was funded – but said it should pass nonetheless.
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