“There will be no solution for Lebanon unless there is a radical change at the political and economic level”

Lebanon has been mired in a multi-sectoral crisis for years. At the political level, there is a vacuum caused by the absence of an elected president and the tenure of an incumbent government. How does the lack of effective power affect the country?

We live in a power vacuum. The government is in office, there is no elected president and in this case there are no stable bodies or institutions. This accelerates the collapse and crisis that the country is experiencing, and hinders political and economic reform initiatives. And it is the people who pay the price.

Do you think he will be elected president soon?

We try every day. There are even MPs sleeping in the House for this to happen, but currently the Forces for Change represent less than 10% of the seats. The rest of the assembly, traditional political factions, is responsible for the paralysis we find ourselves in. Our initiative aims to promote and accelerate the election of the new president, and therefore speed up reforms.

The economic situation has been critical since the country’s collapse in 2021. Will it get worse?

If there is no radical change at the political and economic level, there will be no solution. And this will not happen if those responsible for bringing us here are not prosecuted. Responsibilities should be taken from the banks to the political power that has been in power for more than 30 years. We must abolish bank secrecy and defend the independence of the judiciary as well as investment funds that promote the social and health benefits of small savers and workers. We must put an end to the aristocracy of the banks.

The energy shortage in the country is causing thousands of people to live in a completely unstable situation. How did this situation arise?

People live almost without light, water and internet. Lebanese are deprived of the most basic rights. Here in Barcelona energy, water or light are fundamental rights, not in Lebanon. The energy sector, for example electricity, has been run by different political forces for 30 years at a cost of $40,000 million to the state coffers, and we still don’t have electricity today. This is the result of corruption and mismanagement.

What measures do you suggest so that people can live in conditions?

An independent planning body and the Ministry of Energy need to end corruption and waste. Right now all energy policy depends on the Ministry of Energy and the electricity company and there is a lot of corruption in both institutions. On the other hand, in addition to promoting renewable energy, the collection of electricity bills should be regulated because there are many people in Lebanon who do not have a contract and do not pay for electricity. This is the only way to streamline and improve the maintenance of cable and infrastructure.

Is Lebanese society on the verge of tolerance? Do you think there can be a new revolution like in 2019?

The Lebanese people are a living people who do not accept despair and surrender. Despite all the oppressive policies it has been exposed to over the years, it has expressed its will through a new alternative option as the new powers that have entered the Parliament. Such a people who freely express their will will definitely raise their voices in a new popular revolt and we will stand by the people.

You were part of that revolution, and now the struggle continues from within the Chamber. How did you decide?

It was not a personal decision, but four months before the elections, I felt compelled to bring activism into the election war. The process of struggle against the established works by accumulating actions against the existing political power.

Did you encounter obstacles?

It was difficult from start to finish. Even as soon as the election results were announced and the Chamber of Changing Forces was entered, traditional political forces appealed to the Constitutional Court. For the first time in the history of the Lebanese republic, a list of opposition to ‘order’ has caused others to unite to overthrow it. However, this proposal failed despite strong political pressure on the KT.

Is it possible to have a strong opposition in Lebanon?

There are threats and challenges, but the struggle from within for change prevents a violent revolt. We seek to bring about change through opposition and democratic confrontation. For the first time in the country’s parliamentary history, a political group seeking democratic change is represented in parliament.

Do you think your success can encourage others to follow your path?

The Lebanese people have had confidence in the seemingly democratic options against traditional sectarian forces. Previously, more than 50% of the public hesitated to vote, now people who are not represented in traditional political groups are already voting in the hope that they can start to see real change.

Do you see a change of direction for the country possible?

The hole we made in the wall with the 17 October 2019 rebellion was just the beginning. Change requires knowledge, trust, success and transparency as well as people’s trust. We aspire to create impactful and profound change, but that won’t be anything quick with strength that has been consolidated for over 30 years.

Source: Informacion


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