The Lebanese National Bloc Party and MMFD released the following statement:
To start with, and just as a reminder, we are not concerned with what the French President, the US administration, or others in Saudi Arabia and Iran, are saying. Nor are we concerned with your narrative about the club of former Prime Ministers, knowing that they were your partners in power, and to date you are still hoping for the best from them, as well as a renewed partnership with them.
As an opposition, we never relied on the external interference to solve the Lebanese crisis, knowing full well that the states have interests, not friendships. We are convinced that Lebanon should single-handedly solve its own problems. All foreign meddling in Lebanon’s modern history has only complicated the situation even further, not to mention that Lebanon indeed has all the required political and administrative competencies.
When we met the French President Emmanuel Macron, during his first visit to Lebanon, we told him loud and clear, while thanking the French people for helping the Lebanese people: “How can you restore a ruling establishment that led to Lebanon’s destruction for the last 30 years?”
This establishment, of which you were a main pillar for the past 30 years, along with its failures, waste of funds, power-sharing quotas, sectarianism, and dependency to its foreign sponsors, is the exact same one that led the international community to interfere and impose its conditions. You said that the parliamentary blocs represent the sects. Yes, indeed, they do not represent the citizens; and if they do, it is when they are divided by their fear from each other, and when they need to beg the benefits in return for their loyalty to sects. The sectarian parties are no longer feeding on the distribution of benefits, but rather on spreading fear and anxiety.
As for the government that you aspire to, which is a Cabinet that “respects the customs and popular will,” what customs and respect to popular will are you referring to? Do they mean maintaining the sectarian authority that completely disregards everyday demands by impoverishing the citizens and humiliating them with clientelism? How will this establishment, that is constantly renewing itself, be able to fight corruption as you say, while it was incapable throughout thirty years to prosecute one single corrupt official, on the contrary, it was the main factor behind the rampant corruption or, at the very least, turning a blind eye on corruption, despite all the speeches and promises, as well as all the facts that were revealed and reported to competent authorities? We do not agree on president Macron’s roadmap that you all agreed on, because it calls for the formation of a “Mission Government,” which is the opposite of a transitional government. The former aims to restore a collapsed system and revive a delusional golden era by reestablishing the trust of foreign capitals that were supposed to invest in productive job-creating sectors, while the latter aims to establish an effective, fair, and capable state, laying its civil legitimacy on the basis of citizens’ confidence.
Admitting to a mistake is a sign of strength, and stepping down from power in favor of the real opposition, in order to form a transitional government vested with exceptional legislative powers to put the country on the rescue track, is a merit and an honor. Lebanon and its citizens cannot afford any experiments that have failure written all over them, especially when the total collapse is imminent and the extreme poverty and hunger are ravaging every village and neighborhood.
As for the argument that holding on to power aims to protect the resistance in the face of the Israeli enemy, and to safeguard the political existence of a religious sect, the real protection will only come from the Lebanese and their internal solidarity, not from the outside, and certainly not by isolating oneself from the rest of the Lebanese.