Lebanon’s parliament passes first budget since 2005

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s parliament has approved the country’s first budget in 12 years after government failed to do so amid past political crises.

The budget was approved late Thursday after three days of discussions by parliament.

Sixty-one legislators voted in favor, eight abstained and four voted against.

Some politicians had demanded that an audit be conducted to track spending outside the budget in past years before a new budget was passed. But parliament voted on a new law that allowed it to pass and gave the finance minister up to a year to complete the audit.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri said work will begin on the 2018 budget of which a draft should be ready before the end of October.

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