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President Aoun addresses the Lebanese on eve of parliamentary elections

The moment has come to hold officials accountable... and accountability is always achieved through the ballot box.

The moment has come to hold officials accountable... and accountability is always achieved through the ballot box.


(See translation in Arabic section)

Lebanon - President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, addressed the following speech to the Lebanese on the eve of the parliamentary elections:

My dearly beloved Lebanese,

 I am addressing you today, on the eve of the parliamentary elections, to invite you to participate massively, to express your opinion, to choose those whom you trust and whom you find worthy of defending your rights and passing the laws that safeguard and protect them, especially that tremendous legislative responsibilities and constitutional deadlines lie ahead of the next House of Representatives.

My dearly beloved,

Voting is not merely a right; it is also a duty for every citizen, and it is the correct and actual road to change.

The moment has come to hold officials accountable… and to define one’s choices…

And accountability is always achieved through ballot boxes.

This is your chance; do not waste it, especially in light of the facts that have been unveiled in the past two years, and the lies that have been exposed, and now that corruption and embezzlement have faces and names.

You have a huge responsibility today in order for the dismantling of the complex corruption establishment that has controlled the junctions of the country for decades not to be halted, but rather to continue, in view of holding accountable the corrupt and the embezzlers.

For 30 years, they made us live a huge lie, they put us under the illusion that the Lebanese Lira was well, that we had money and that we were well-off…

Certainly, that was a beautiful and convenient lie, but there would come a time and we would pay for it; and the longer it lasted, the more expensive and the harsher it got.

A while ago, the lie ended, and it had to end. The hard truth surfaced and we have become able to face the reality in order to find a way out. Today, there is a campaign to instill despair, under the motto: “Lebanon is broke and bankrupt: Run and flee”.

No… I said it two years ago and I reiterate it: Lebanon is neither broke nor bankrupt, it is plundered. Ever since we put up a budget for the first time after 12 years, and since the State finance were regulated, the gaps started to appear and we started to make sure, with figures, that Lebanon is plundered. Yes, it is plundered and looted, jointly and severally, funds have been smuggled out, and they are trying to throw the consequences on you and the responsibility on me… me, who have been guarding for more than 25 years against financial policies that encumbered the country, and against economic policies that would engulf it in future crises…

Today, in order for Lebanon to recover and in order to put an end to mutual recriminations and finger-pointing, the judiciary must fulfill its role. It must name and pursue the corrupt, some of whom having become known.

It is not up to the President of the Republic to pursue, prosecute and incarcerate the corrupt and the thieves.

I can show the path that enables us to identify the looters. Indeed, I have pointed out the forensic audit and I have told you to start there. I have assured the judiciary: “I am your protector, I am your steel ceiling, but I am not in your place, and it is not up to me to interfere in your role. Do your job to save the country!”

The judicial police as well are required to carry out their duty because without them, the rulings of the judges remain unheeded.

I have repeatedly told the deputies: “There are some laws that protect people’s rights and prevent the smuggling of their assets; had you adopted them in due time, we would not have got here.”

To you I say: “We have resources, we have potentials, capable of lifting the economy and holding up the country. Do not yield to despair. If you know how to select deputies who make and present the necessary laws for the rescue and strive to pass them and protect your rights, then we will have a real chance.”

My dearly beloved,

After the first lie has been disclosed, they are trying to nurture a new lie and a dangerous fad, sowing them in the minds of the Lebanese, in particular the youth, suggesting in brief that we can eliminate one of the components of our society and the country would still preserve its stability and calm.

This thinking is very dangerous and has a very high cost.

The cost is strife… The cost is civil war.

Lebanon can only live with all its components and all its daughters and sons. Exclusion attempts have been tried before and have drowned Lebanon in a sea of blood and tears.

Is anyone willing to have their children and grandchildren experience the same fear, the same pain, the same tragedies???

Stop the rhetoric of hatred, the slogans of incitement and the dreams of exclusion.

Stop them all.

Stop inventing rumors and making people fear each other.

This approach is destructive and not constructive; it is capable of destroying a society and a nation.

Tomorrow, once elections are over, you will go back to live together and nobody can get rid of anybody.

It is not Michel Aoun, the man who spent his life fighting for Lebanon’s unity and sovereignty on every inch of its territory and water, and the first to have presented a national defense strategy, who will allow today or any other day that this sovereignty would be undermined, sold on the black market or become the object of a compromise or bargain.

Two days ago, the UN report recommended that Syrian displaced and Palestinians refugee be given the right to work and benefit from social security.

 Here, I would like to reiterate out loud:

 The right of the Lebanese people is a priority, and our country is no longer able to shoulder the burden of the refugees and displaced. We reject every form of integration and settlement, and I repeat, once more: No one can have my signature except for the safe return of the refugees and displaced to their countries. 

My dearly beloved,

Exploiting your pain and the need of some of you is your biggest foe in the elections, and a desperate attempt to consecrate the influence of those who have made you reach this point, in order for them to blackmail you again on every occasion.

 I hope that you raise your voice at the “Temple traders”, those who bargain on humans and on the nation. Shut your doors in their face and tell them: “our conscience is not for sale, we are not for sale.”

Remember the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Do not serve two masters: God and money.”

Remember as well that those who ‘buy’ you today at a low price shall ‘sell’ you tomorrow at a high price.

Funds are being massively spent, from suspect sources and with suspect goals. Do not let them fulfill their goals. We have uncovered the corruption establishment to be able to build the system and the institutions, and this has cost us dearly. Do not allow this establishment to regain life.

You stand before a great opportunity, the opportunity to express your rebellion behind the voting screen.

 In the privacy of the polling booth, rise up against electoral funds,

 rise up against every person who regards you as a commodity,

 rise up against political blackmail,

 rise up against moral decay and loss of values,

 rise up against external subordination,

 rise up against those who have looted your assets and your lifetime’s savings,

 rise up against those who have obstructed and are obstructing every measure that would protect your remaining rights or expose the looters,

 rise up against those who are fomenting sedition and possibly civil war.

 Revolution through ballot boxes must be the cleanest and truest of all revolutions. Do not sell it to anyone.

 Be free inside the polling booths for a few minutes and you shall gain your nation where you can spend all your life in freedom and dignity. -- {PIO}


Copyright 2007