BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces bloc MP Fadi Karam likened the Change and Reform Bloc to the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria Friday, saying that they are “two sides of the same coin.”
“ISIS is causing the exodus of Mosul’s Christians while the Change and Reform bloc is emptying the presidency from a Christian political presence,” said Karam, in response to the Change and Reform’s proposal to allow the president to be elected via a popular vote.
The Change and Reform bloc was trying to “exaggerate threats,” not to benefit Christians or other minorities, but to reinforce their alignment with “dictatorships,” Karam said.
“The party exaggerates threats without offering solutions,” said the lawmaker, arguing that the bloc is at the forefront of blocking solutions.
The Lebanese Forces MP argued that the Change and Reform bloc utilizes the existential threat ISIS poses to Christians as to show that “only Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon could protect them.”
The Lebanese Forces MP added that in order to criticize ISIS, actors must “support Sunni moderation and not destroy it.”
He said that the bloc blamed foreign actors who fall outside the power of the state, rather than admitting to their role in the current crisis.
“ISIS is terrorizing Christians while March 8 forces are covering up for those who assassinated Christian and non-Christian politicians and set off bombs in Christian areas,” said Karam.
The lawmaker said that if the bloc's partnership with Hezbollah could have resolved the crisis over Syrian refugees, then the Cabinet would have reached a solution when the crisis began under their term.
“The road to Baabda used to pass through Paris and Jeddah. Today, it passes through Kasab, Mosul, Halab and terrorist groups,” he said, while arguing that the Free Patriotic Movement are building on the Syrian regime and extremist threats to deliver the presidency to FPM head Michel Aoun.
Ten MPs from Michel Aoun's Reform and Change bloc submitted a draft proposal to amend the Constitution to allow the president to be elected via a popular vote Thursday.
Aoun suggested that Christians could vote in a first round, with the top two candidates then facing a vote by the general public.
The presidency, which has been vacant since former President Michel Sleiman's term ended May 25, is reserved for a Maronite Christian under the National Pact of 1943 that governs Lebanon's political power-sharing.