The Lebanese National Bloc Party said that the government, parliament, and the existing quota system are to blame for depriving Lebanon from any assistance that may be forthcoming. The Bloc spoke about the contradicting views that were shown to the International monetary fund between the Minister of finance and the Central Bank Governor, about the House of Representatives blocking government projects, about regional parties linking assistance with reforms at a time when the “Electricity Regulatory Commission” was not established and immunities highlighted in the fraudulent fuel scandal, as well as the difference of opinions of the ministers towards the Salaata plant. The Bloc reminded that the first condition to the success of any endeavor was trust, and that the parties of the quota system have lost the trust of the people, and those parties do not even trust each other.
In a statement, the Bloc said that after the meeting between the Prime Minister’s team and representatives of CEDRE donor countries, it was obvious that no aid would be given until a time frame was set for reforms and that those reforms are approved by the International Monetary Fund, with priority given to the electricity sector. After this meeting another meeting took place between the Minister of Finance and Governor of the Banque du Liban with representatives of the International Monetary Fund. Just like the first meeting, the IMF representatives listened to conflicting views and different numbers; as if the Minister and the Governor were talking about two different countries.
The Bloc added that the laws related to the reforms that the government had boasted about, and that were related to corruption, waste, investment promotion, and assistance to the poorest, were all dropped in the House of Representatives, even after the House gave the vote of confidence to the government; making it seem like the government and the House of Representatives are from two different countries. As for the nightmare that is electricity sector reform: there has been a consensus among all donors, especially the International Bank, and since 1996 to establish an “Electricity Regulatory Commission”, yet the quota system is still evading putting this legal obligation into effect.
The Bloc asserted that ministers disagreeing with each other at the cabinet table about the Salaata plant was the worst situation, as they exit this plant from a door only to have it come back through a window due to the pressures from the forces that control the government. As for the fraudulent fuel scandal, the Bloc considered the government unable to arrest any of the accused persons, since those persons are well connected to all the leaders of the sectarian parties in the country.
The Bloc reiterated its position about trust being the most important condition to the success of any endeavor, and that the parties of the quota system have lost the trust of the people, and those parties do not trust each other and don’t even try to hide this mistrust, giving donors no reason to assist them.
The Bloc concluded its statement by stressing that Lebanon’s only salvation is through regaining trust, and this can only happen with an independent, sovereign government with legislative powers. This has been the demand of the people since October 17, and this demand will not change because the truth is apparent. It is the people’s responsibility to continue pressure until this demand is met as there really is no other choice.