Politics & Economics

Mustaqbal, FPM Trade Accusations on Eve of Lebanese Govt. Confidence Vote

Middle East

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Future Party and Lebanese President's Free Patriotic Movement have exchanged accusations of corruption on the eve of Government vote.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri attacked on Monday his former ally, the Free Patriotic Movement, stressing it “has not realized any economic achievement in 30 years.”

“To all those who criticize ‘political Harirism’, especially the FPM, tell me about a single economic achievement for the FPM over the past 30 years,” Hariri said in a chat with reporters that followed a meeting of his Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc.

“We were part of this authority and we bear some kind of responsibility, but the others bear a greater responsibility than us. All we wanted was for the country to enjoy stability and economic prosperity,” he underlined.

Asked about his participation in Tuesday’s parliamentary session to give confidence to the new government, the former premier replied: “Everyone knows we will not give confidence to the government… We will participate in the session to have our say in parliament.”

“We will not build a destructive opposition, but rather a constructive one… I cannot be part of the paralysis of institutions after I fought it for the past period,” he added.

The Mustaqbal bloc issued a statement at the end of its meeting, stressing it will attend the parliamentary session without granting its confidence to the new government.

“This is because the government has nothing to do with the demands of the Lebanese people and its ministerial statement, just like the budget it adopted,” which it said is made of “scraps copied from previous statements” and cannot address the financial, monetary and socio-economic crisis facing Lebanon, the bloc said.

The bloc also emphasized the need to respect the citizens’ right to peaceful expression.

In response, the FPM said that the Mustaqbal bloc’s statement reflected its “bankruptcy”. It added that the public opinion “knows who controlled the financial and economic decision-making power since 1992… and led the country to the current collapse.”

Lebanon is facing the worst economic crisis since its 1975-90 civil war, rooted in decades of state corruption and bad governance that have landed the country with one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens.

Lebanon has been rocked by protests since October 17 demanding a complete overhaul of a political class which is seen as inept, corrupt and motivated by personal gain. Many protesters have rejected the new cabinet and accuse the ruling elite of ignoring demands which include an independent government and an end to corruption.

Image: NNA

Article: Asharq al-Awsat