Aoun Blames Govt. Delay on Lebanese ‘Contradictions’, Invites Protesters to Dialogue

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President Michel Aoun on Thursday blamed the delay in forming a new government on Lebanon’s “contradictions,” as he re-invited protesters to dialogue with him.

“The time is not for speeches but rather for hard work… The challenges are dangerous and we’ve wasted a lot of time,” Aoun said in an address to the nation on the eve of Lebanon’s Independence Day.

“The government should have been formed by now and started its work, but the contradictions that govern Lebanese politics have necessitated carefulness in order to avoid a more dangerous situation,” the president added.

Renewing his invitation to protesters to send representatives to the presidential palace for talks, Aoun said he wants to “closely explore their actual demands and means to implement them,” stressing that “dialogue is the only correct way to resolve crises.”

As for the latest anti-corruption drive in the country, the president said “the recent popular protests have broken some taboos and relatively some protections, prompting the judiciary to act and encouraging the legislative authority to give priority to a number of anti-corruption draft laws.”

“I will be a firm bulwark that protects the judiciary and by that I mean that I will prevent any interference in it,” he pledged.

Addressing the armed forces, he added: “You must protect the freedom of citizens who want to express their opinion through demonstrations and you also have to protect the freedom of movement of citizens who want to go to their work or home.”

Protesters have repeatedly rejected calls for talks with the president, noting that their demands are well-known.

Lebanon’s unprecedented protest movement, which broke out on October 17, has been calling for a complete overhaul of a political elite accused of inefficiency and corruption.

After the government stepped down on October 29, protesters demanded a fresh cabinet composed of experts not affiliated with any of the traditional political parties.

But Aoun in a recent interview argued that a government made up solely of independent technocrats would not represent the people or be able to set policies.

“Where should I look for them? On the moon?” he said, arguing true independents were scarce in a country where most people follow a specific political party.

Timeline
  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun addressing the armed forces: You must protect the freedom of the citizen who wants to express their opinion through demonstrations and you also have to protect the freedom of movement of the citizen who wants to go to their work or home.

  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun: I will be a firm bulwark that protects the judiciary and by that I mean that I will prevent any interference in it.

  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun: The recent popular protests have broken some taboos and relatively some protections, prompting the judiciary to act and encouraging the legislative authority to give priority to a number of anti-corruption draft laws.

  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun: I repeat my invitation to protesters in order to closely explore their actual demands and means to implement them, because dialogue is the only correct way to resolve crises.

  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun: The government should have been formed by now but the contradictions that govern Lebanese politics have necessitated carefulness in order to avoid the worse.

  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun: The challenges are dangerous and we’ve wasted a lot of time.

  • 12 hours ago

    Aoun: The time is not for speeches but rather for hard work.

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