Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Thursday slammed any hybrid electoral law that mixes proportional representation and the winner-takes-all system, criticizing the government for “distancing itself from everything.”
“The entire Lebanese entity is suffering and today you are demanding your rights (new wage scale), but our eye is on the country as a whole,” said Aoun during a ceremony held by FPM’s teachers to commemorate Teacher’s Day.
“It is the government of no-decision and self-distancing. We are in the government and we have 10 ministers, but the minister has the lowest number of powers. The minister suggests, but the prime minister is the one who signs and he’s capable of blocking the minister’s decision and the same applies to the president,” Aoun added.
Putting the blame on the government, Aoun said: “Many people ask us why don’t you fulfill what is mentioned in your political platform, and we hereby declare that the state is distancing itself from the administrative appointments, the decisions and all the concerns.”
“The officials in power are not worthy of being in power and they are the chronic disease that has generated problems and accumulated them since the ’90s until today,” the FPM leader charged.
Commenting on the growing influence of Sunni Islamist groups in some regions, Aoun added: “They have isolated some areas in Lebanon and allowed Takfiris to accuse us of apostasy in a blatant disrespect of our beliefs. Do we have another political system now that is based on the blocking of roads? The self-distancing government has failed to protect our dignity.”
“It has become a government for stealing public money and we have had no growth since the ’90s until today and borrowed money was used for construction,” Aoun added.
Turning to the issue of the electoral law, Aoun said: “They drafted the Taef Accord, distributed powers among each other and stripped the president of his powers, but they created a balance in parliament. However, the result was robbing Christians of their rights.”
“When we said that Article 24 must be implemented and equal (Christian-Muslim) power-sharing must be preserved, we found two solutions – the Orthodox law and the law based on a single electoral district – but they came up with a hybrid law … This solution shames its advocates,” Aoun added.
Lashing out at centrist politicians, Aoun asked rhetorically: “What does a neutral or centrist politicians stand for? We Christians should throw out centrists. Expel anyone who tells you he’s neutral or centrist and say enough with pretentiousness to anyone who says he’s independent.”