Saad Hariri’s new government won a vote of confidence in parliament on Friday as the premier stressed that the CEDRE economic conference is not a “bribe” for naturalizing Syrian refugees in the country.
111 out of 128 MPs gave the government their confidence. Six lawmakers meanwhile withheld confidence — Kataeb’s three lawmakers in addition to Osama Saad, Jamil al-Sayyed and Paula Yacoubian.
“Unfortunately some see the CEDRE conference as a bribe for naturalizing refugees and these are baseless political illusions,” Hariri said in a speech in parliament that preceded the vote.
“We cannot blame all our problems on the refugees,” he stressed.
“The year 2019 is the year for finding a serious solution for electricity and if this does not happen, we will all fail as government, parliament and presidency,” Hariri added.
The PM also lamented that “some parties criticize as if they were not present in the previous governments.”
The government’s Policy Statement calls for reforms in state finances, the economy and the crumbling electricity sector, which costs state coffers about $2 billion a year.
The statement also says that “Lebanese citizens” have the right to “resist Israeli occupation and repel its aggression.”
The new Cabinet was announced late last month, breaking a nine-month deadlock that had deepened Lebanon’s economic woes.