Gemayel to Asharq Al-Awsat: New Prime Minister's Hands Are Tied
Amine Gemayel is carefully keeping up with the ongoing developments since the beginning of the popular uprising that erupted on the 17th of October. While he admits the difficulties and the upcoming challenges for the country in 2020, he refuses to surrender to negativity and pessimism since ”there are still people in Lebanon working on bailout initiatives to pull us from what we are failing”.
Gemayel refuses to take a stance on the government which is expected to be formed soon, although he is not very optimistic about the ability of its prime minister-designate, Hassan Diab, to overcome the conditions and demands of the political forces and speaks of "great reservations surrounding the process, which gives the impression that his hands are tied”.
He said,” I didn’t communicate with him to determine my stance, but the persistent objections of many groups exacerbate my fears that he will not be able to form the government that the Lebanese aspire for.”
He asks: is he able to fully liberate himself from all the pressure he is under and form a government in accordance with his promises, convictions and conscience? Is he ready to confront the groups that I named?
“It appears that Diab will not succeed with this; his task seems almost impossible, but I call on him to try and take the challenge of forming an independent salvatory government with the technically vocational and cognitive ability needed to succeed in overcoming the difficulty that the country is facing. He would surprise the public.
He urged Diab to “impose himself by forming a government that is not opposed by the people and is trustworthy experienced and independent, most importantly transparent. Since “in Lebanon, nothing stays secrete and books are judged by their cover. Thus the minute the government is formed, it will be evaluated so they can determine how to respond."
Gemayel considers and Mufti of the republic and Saad Hariri’s objections to Diab’s appointment, as well as the limited support he received from Sunni deputies for his appointment as “negative signs that cannot be ignored.
“His success depends on his ability to close the door in face of any suggestions made by politicians. He adds: “There is no way to save Lebanon without the international financial support that will only be granted to a trusted government that personifies the ambitions of the people."
He further stressed, “transparency is crucial to the international community when it comes to financial help, given the fact that previous experiences with Lebanese officials are not encouraging.”
Gemayel describes what happened on the 17th of October as “historic revolution.”
"The revolution may have waned slightly, especially because of the holiday season. The revolution is taking a warrior’s break, but I am convinced that a qualitative changed has been made at the level of Lebanese public."
Some think the Lebanese are willing to accept anything and everything, thinking that they are unable to rebel. The revolution persist, and it will come back after the holidays, especially after the government’s fate is decided, based on that, what is needed will be determined.
Gemayel hopes that the Prime Minister-designate, and all political forces, "will absorb the new situation in the country, putting aside partisan factional and sectarian interests.”
He added: “We must finally be convinced that the management of the country cannot continue the same way. In the new year, we will see a fundamental and profound change, but it is too early to determine its shape.
And while he considers that the government that is expected to be formed will a transitional as a "given," he stresses that "early parliamentary elections are a result, not a demand, a result of the catastrophic failure that has been seen in past few years, and that corruption has been witnessed everywhere, whether it is electricity or waste, and the management of the banks’ financial crisis, namely, the fact that they are seizing the savings of the Lebanese, and preventing industrialists from financing the imports.