In an interview with al-Joumhouria newspaper, President Michel Aoun hit out at Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, Lebanese Forces party chief Samir Geagea and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.
Aoun told the newspaper, in remarks published Thursday, that he’s had enough of the procrastination and of Salameh’s “pretexts” regarding the forensic audit.
“Salameh has to meet all the requests of the forensic audit firm Alvarez & Marsal and he has only a one-week deadline to respond,” Aoun strictly said, adding that he can no longer show patience and indulgence.
He warned of legal and political measures against Salameh if the latter doesn’t cooperate.
Aoun also lashed out at Jumblat’s moodiness, saying that he constantly changes his alliances. “You wouldn’t know to which Jumblat you should talk,” he sarcastically added.
Aoun hinted that the PSP chief was a partner in the twisted economic and financial policies and that he was protecting Salameh whom Aoun called “the bankruptcy and collapse engineer.”
The President, slamming his foes, did not exempt Geagea.
“Have I hurt anyone? Have I built a castle? Have I betrayed an ally or mastered incitement,” Aoun asked.
He questioned Geagea’s achievements and noted that he hadn’t committed to his promise to give ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri the LF’s voices.
“All he does is inciting. The Sunnis won’t forgive him nor will they support him,” Aoun said.
He added that political rivalry is legitimate, but “hate speech and incitement” are not.
Aoun who has many opponents among Lebanese parties had also recently reached an unprecedented level of frustration with Hizbullah.
“Hizbullah’s choices regarding reforms sometimes surprise me,” Aoun said before reiterating that the FPM-Hizbullah alliance only needs to evolve but remains “a national necessity.”
The President justified the multitude of rivals by claiming he was left alone for raising the forensic audit issue.
“When I said I will fight corruption, they all applauded me but when I raised the forensic audit issue, I ended up alone,” he said.