This government came as the result of popular discontent from all corners of the country, the Lebanese cried out in pain because of humiliating living conditions in a country that does not provide the minimum requirements of a decent life. The Lebanese people announced their demands in the streets from the first day of the revolution: they demanded a scaled down sovereign government made up of competent specialists who were independent of the political parties that have held powers for decades, a government with legislative powers that can be a first step towards building a nonsectarian state of citizenship, rule of law, social justice, economic prosperity, and environmental balance.
Today we are at a very difficult junction of Lebanon’s history: we are in the throes of an economic and financial crisis that is impacting all strata of our society, and that is creating a social catastrophe whose victims are primarily the poor; it is a crisis that is also shifting the middle class into poverty.
We are well aware that the responsibility of saving the country is a great one, but we are willing to shoulder it, knowing that we are going through extraordinary times and situations. The only way we can succeed is through accepting the postulates and working together as a people, a president, representatives, government, and judiciary. We will answer the call of our nation to renew the trust between the government and its people.
Our government, which is committed to implementing the constitution, sees that its mission is one of national rescue, and its priorities lie in restoring the trust of citizens, investors, and the international community. This will attract the necessary investments to stabilize the situation until the results of the principal reforms come to fruition.
The government must act quickly and firmly in order to avoid complete collapse. Failure of the government will threaten in devaluating the Lebanese Pound, creating inflation, unemployment, poverty, and more deterioration of basic public services.
The mission of this government will be the following:
- Stopping financial deterioration
- Strengthening the Social Security Network
- Stopping the channels of waste and fighting corruption
- Preparing a fair law for parliamentary elections
First: Stopping financial and economic deterioration by taking the following measures:
- Adopting bold policies to manage the exchange rate of the Lebanese Lira to prevent its complete collapse.
- Issuing a legislative decree that regulates the process of controlling the movement of capital (Capital Control) with a set of rules and a time frame.
- Adopting the most transparent procedures pertaining to the Central Bank’s account statements in order to determine the status of bank capital deposits in its accounts and all of its other assets.
- Restructuring the banking sector.
- Restructuring the internal and external public debt, as well as preventing any future financial engineering to compensate for a lack of profit, as well as having the banks and big depositors carry the bigger burden since they have benefited from all past monetary policies.
- Tightening controls to prevent banks from being exposed to dangerous investments.
- Immediate investigation into the international money transfers that took place after October 17 and publishing the results of this investigation, in addition to holding banks responsible for their discretionary dealing with depositors.
- Negotiating the necessity of any additional special measures.
Second: Strengthening the social security network by taking the following measures:
- Combating extreme poverty and assisting the poorest families.
- Adopting a comprehensive health care system that covers all Lebanese.
- Creating an elderly social security fund for all Lebanese.
- Adopting a new tax system that is equitable for the middle and poor classes.
- Supporting the private sector, and specifically small and medium enterprises. Addressing the structural imbalance of the Lebanese economy to transform it into a production based one, creating sustainable job opportunities and increasing imports to rectify the balance of payment crisis and the trade balance crisis.
- Reevaluating the infrastructure projects proposed at the Cedre conference based on each project’s economic viability, need for it, its environmental impact (incinerators, Bisri dam, etc.) and fair distribution in less developed regions of the country.
Third: Eliminating channels of waste and fighting corruption by taking the following measures:
- Promoting and implementing internal audits as a central part of the work of all public administrations and institutions.
- Conducting performance evaluations for all General Managers of public administrations and taking strong measures against those who have been negligent or have violated the law.
- Putting a halt on all public sector employment until a complete survey of all employees is complete: a survey that will include permanent employees, contractors, daily workers or others.
- Implementing a spending ceiling on the allocations of ministers, representatives, and other government employees.
- Eliminating councils and funds and transferring all their tasks to the relevant ministries.
- Increasing state revenues by combating tax evasion, improving collection, and collecting immediate fines for infringements on public property.
- Limiting all unnecessary administrative expenses, such as travel, and abiding by those limitations.
- Starting the implementation of e-government, especially the digitalization of the Council of Ministers.
- Conducting all tenders through the "Tender Management" department, and the implementation of an electronic central system for government procurement.
- Importing oil and wheat without intermediaries and on a country to country basis in order to obtain preferential rates.
- Reevaluating the electricity plans, especially with regard to the proportion of production from renewable energy, and forming a regulatory body for the electricity sector.
- Issuing a legislative decree related to the independence of the judiciary and working on liberating the judiciary from any political interference to ensure that its role in implementing the anti-corruption system and recovering the looted funds is activated.
- Strengthening and cleansing all regulatory and control bodies and ensuring their complete independence.
- Promoting the principle of transparency and the immediate application of the "Right to Access Information" law with its amendments, as well as issuing the law’s implementation decrees.
- Implementing the National Anti-Corruption strategy
Fourth: Drafting a fair law for the parliamentary elections by taking the following measures:
- Drafting a new parliamentary elections law that ensures fair and correct political representation in partnership with all sectors of society.
- Establishing an independent election management commission.
- Setting and strictly implementing a ceiling for campaign spending.
- Holding early elections once the law is passed.
This government will focus on finding solutions and immediate measures to reduce the repercussions of the crisis. All political parties and civil society movements should discuss the contentious issues between the Lebanese, such as regional and sectarian political alignments, in a transparent and objective manner. These differences can only be solved internally in a systematic way with reasonable discussions and with taking everyone’s concerns into consideration.
We believe that internal civil peace can be achieved through open dialogue that purifies emotions in order to overcome grudges, this dialogue has long been delayed since the end of the Lebanese civil war.
Finally, this government vows to adopt the highest levels of transparency in its communications with you and with the Lebanese citizens. We will do this through publishing the records of the full sessions on the Prime Minister's website. The government will also hold periodical discussion sessions about the decisions taken and about existing obstacles that are open to the public. Registration for these sessions can be done digitally on our website based on the number of seats available.
The government and all its members apologizes in advance for not accepting invitation to attend events, conference openings, or television appearances, except when required by its Prime Minister, in order to focus on its rescue mission to build a prosperous, green, and fair Lebanon.
The government asks you to grant it your confidence based on this ministerial statement.
Long live Lebanon.