NB criticizes Bassil’s “insults to Lebanese minds”: Are quota-based nominations and wasteful projects part of his intended change?

The Lebanese National Bloc Party lambasted the stated positions of the Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil, in his latest press conference. The Bloc considered that his comments contained many “insults” to Lebanese and “their minds”; one of them being the “achievements”, which he alleged were accomplished, and his attempts to “erase the citizens’ memory” regarding Lebanon’s electricity issue. It said that the “ultimate insult” was his “skepticism about finding an alternative” to this government. It was surprised how he was clinging to it under the pretext of “preventing the fall of change,” and asked him: “About what change are you talking?” amid the “quota-setting approach” in the last nominations, and the “waste of public funds to share them” through the Selaata and Bisri dam projects.

Read the full statement below:

In his televised appearance addressing the Lebanese, MP Gebran Bassil condemned and threatened all those who are insulting him or his political movement. By saying this, he is partly right, as the insult is a blunder and an immoral expression.

However, there is an insult to an official coming from a desperate citizen who was unable to feed, teach, etc. his children. Despite that his anger is understood, he should be reprimanded.

But when an insult is coming from an official to 4 million Lebanese, he should then be liable to prosecution; in his address, MP Bassil called the Lebanese “idiots.”

He says “the government should stay prepared to prevent the fall of change, and we will not withdraw confidence from the government as long as the alternative is unavailable, and as long as it is making achievements…”

Your Excellency, about what change are you talking? About your conduct in nominations and the quota-setting approach you are taking with your partners in power? About the waste of public funds to share them through “Selaata above all considerations,” and the Bisri dam project? You say they want to cancel the Bisri dam “because they want a specific contractor [they have].” The truth is that citizens know that the contractor who launched the works at the Bisri dam is the same who started the works to construct FPM’s headquarters at the site of Nahr El-Kalb, utterly indifferent to the disfigurement of the most important historical landmark that witnessed Lebanon’s liberation from occupations.

As for the alleged achievements, MP Bassil is insulting the Lebanese another time, when he considers that they were made. Are the achievements reflected in the plummeting LBP price, loss of thousands of employments, closure of thousands of businesses, and over half of Lebanese falling below the poverty line?

The MP tackles the electricity issue, insulting again the citizens and wanting to erase their memory. You were personally, and your political movement, heading this Ministry (of Energy and Water) for 10 years, and you are still. Throughout all this period, neither the power sector “Regulatory Authority” was nominated, nor a new board for the Electricité du Liban (EDL) was appointed. Now, are you complaining of that?!

We will save you the answer, which we already know: “They did not let me (work).” For God’s sake, did you even hear such a justification from a fifth-world country? Stop insulting people’s minds.

MP Bassil also says that his choice is to turn westward, but if we lose the West, we are open to turn eastward, knowing that Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was the first to call for this option. However, your Excellency, what the West is telling you: No support without reforms. In return, what the quota-setting apparatus is doing until now? It is turning deaf ears and thinks it can fool the West with empty promises. This is another insult.

As for the East, namely China, and the promised investments of billions of dollars, we remind that the following facts apply to this option:

  • China is a great industrial and trade empire.
  • It has no political and expansionist ambitions; this is its history and its present.
  • As it is investing in Africa, Israel, and other areas, it will invest under the same conditions in Lebanon.
  • If China feels it will be subject to US sanctions, it will not come to Lebanon.
  • China’s conditions are the same wherever it goes: To protect its interests.
  • The racism of the Israeli enemy is not an obstacle for China, as it considers that Israel possesses, despite its tyranny against Palestinians and its hostility towards Lebanon, a system capable of putting the corrupt prime minister in jail, which reassures China.
  • In Lebanon, in the absence of reforms and the rule of law, and due to the widespread corruption and the hefty commissions divided by the quota system, China will impose conditions and prices that will be closer to economic colonialism than the trade investment, in order to safeguard its interests.

Before embracing the East and the West, let us return to Lebanon. The solution is quite the opposite of what your Excellency is pointing out to, when you say that the alternative to the government is unavailable.

The alternative is what the Lebanese said since October 17; we want a sovereign and independent government, vested with expanded powers

Your skepticism about finding an alternative to this government among Lebanese citizens who contributed to build the Middle East and excelled in both Western and Eastern countries, is in itself the ultimate insult you are directing at our people.

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