BASSIL: He who wishes to lead government of specialists must either be specialist himself or step down to another specialist
13 Oct 2020
(See Translation in Arabic section)
Lebanon - Head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, delivered a speech marking the October 13 commemoration, saying: "30 years have passed since October 13, and every year we meet on this occasion to remember lost heroes, but the main intention is to draw lessons. (...) We will not forget. We cannot forget; for October 13 was the beginning, although they wanted it to be the end. On this day last year, we warned against an 'economic' October 13."
"30 years of fire and struggle, torment and injustice, attacks and exile, and imprisonment and judgment at the hands of oppressive parties outside and inside… They all thought we were losing, that we were finished, but we never cease to regenerate," Bassil said, addressing comrades attending the ceremony.
"Today, we stand at the heart of the equation that protects Lebanon. Neither your planes, nor your threats and sanctions will serve you. Today, the danger is of a different nature, and that is why we named it an 'economic' October 13. (...) Our concern is for the people, and [theirs] is for breaking us. This is the prevailing equation," he continued.
Bassil commented on the government file and the French initiative, noting that "he who wants to head a government of specialists must be a specialist himself, or simply step down to another specialist."
He pointed out that "the struggle for power and the fear of the other are so immense that the two camps seem ready to trample any opportunity to save the country in exchange for gain. As for us, we see an opportunity today not only to rescue the country through the French initiative, but also through a constitutional amendment that prevents void in the executive authority."
Bassil explained that "the constitutional amendment we are proposing, and which will be submitted by the Strong Lebanon bloc is based on two ideas: The first is to grant the President a maximum period of one month to set a date for parliamentary consultations, provided, of course, that its outcomes are binding to him, but do not restrict the deputies' choices. The second is to allow the designated PM a maximum period of one month to form the government and obtain the approval and signature of the President of the Republic on the formation decree, otherwise he will automatically be considered resigned and the month deadline will be given back to the President for another round of consultations."
"Of course, the House of Representatives must give confidence or withhold it, one month after the deadline for the formation of the government and the issuance of its decree. The time limit shall be shortened to two weeks in case of repetition," he went on to say.
On the financial front, Bassil underlined "the necessity of changing the policy existing since the 1990s and applying a reverse policy by reducing interest, securing loans, and restructuring the banking sector to be an engine for the economy and not an obstructive agent."
"A mechanism for amending the Constitution without wars, but with understanding, does actually exist," he pointed out. "We can no longer live under this rotten Constitution. Solutions exists, and we do not have to wait for the outside, because change stems from within."
"As a result of October 13, the Taif was imposed on us with the force of cannon, and we had to accept it because it became our Constitution. But it is neither our Bible nor our Quran. Taif is a Constitution, not a sacred book, nor is it predestined," the FPM leader stressed.