Lebanon News

Ahmad Hariri: Hezbollah seeks three-way power system

Future Movement's secretary-general Ahmad Hariri. (Photo courtesy of Ahmad Hariri)

BEIRUT: Future Movement Secretary-General Ahmad Hariri Thursday accused Hezbollah of seeking to establish a power-sharing formula divided between Sunnis, Shiites and Christians by weakening the country's finances and political system.

In a statement, Hariri questioned the reasons behind Hezbollah MPs’ support for the demands of civil servants to raise their wages as part of a new salary scale for the public sector.

“What is the explanation behind the absence of a Hezbollah MP in the subcommittee studying the salary scale? Is the purpose to evade responsibility and not face the facts about the Treasury’s situation while the rest of the MPs remain careful about raising the debt ceiling without any means of financing?” asked Hariri.

The Future bloc has refused to approve the new salary scale before proper means to finance the increase are established, arguing that Lebanon’s ailing economy cannot tolerate more debt.

“They want to appear as though they are the only ones defending the rights of the people ... Is Hezbollah aiming to take advantage of these popular demands to force the collapse of the socioeconomic reality?” said Hariri.

“Is Hezbollah aiming to bankrupt the Treasury to push the country to accept a conference to reconsider the political system under the pretext of the failure of both the political and economic system?"

Although Hezbollah has denied allegations that the party is seeking a new three-way power-sharing formula to replace the current one, which gives equal weight to Muslims and Christians, its rivals continue to accuse the group of seeking to change the governing system.

Hariri also accused Hezbollah and Amal Movement, Lebanon's main Shiite parties, of dominating the public sector, resulting in rampant corruption for years “at the airport, the port, seaside property and the vast lands used for security and military purposes.”

He said such behavior had prevented the Treasury from benefiting from profits that it should have received.

Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria had also served a blow to Lebanon’s tourism and services sectors, which in turn decreased the prospects for economic growth, he said.

“All this would have Lebanon reach a point of socioeconomic collapse, which would be taken as an excuse to re-establish authority and consider a tripartite power sharing governing system,” Hariri said.

“Therefore, we should approve the salary scale even with the means of finance that are now provided ... and contain the crisis within the Cabinet and future ones in order to better the economic and monetary conditions.”





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