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Differences Between Lebanese MPs at Kataeb Party Congress

Differences Between Lebanese MPs at Kataeb Party Congress

Monday, 18 February, 2019 - 12:15
File Photo. Meeting of the Kataeb politburo (NNA)
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
A fiery statement made by deputy Nadim Gemayel during the 31st Kataeb Congress this weekend unveiled immense divisions within the party and disputes with its leader MP Sami Gemayel, who was reelected for a second mandate in an uncontested vote.

On the third day of the party’s Congress 16 new members, out of 29 candidates, were elected for Kataeb’s politburo.

But on Saturday night, MP Nadim Gemayel lashed out at the party’s recent performance, saying Kataeb was more concerned with preserving the environment than confronting Iran’s influence in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s arms.

The deputy also hinted into possible corruption within the party, wondering about some of its expenditures and calling on the election of the party’s head by all Kataeb members.

His comments raised several questions on possible divisions among party members.

The Kataeb won only three seats in last May’s parliamentary elections, the first such low outcome since 2005. The party is also not represented in the new cabinet.

However, party members downplayed alleged disputes, describing them as part of the democratic process.

Kataeb deputy leader Salim al-Sayegh said: “Maybe we haven’t gotten used to such congresses.”

During the three-day Congress, “there were more fiery speeches than the one delivered by MP Nadim Gemayel,” he added.

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