Lebanon News

Hezbollah to focus on anti-corruption in new govt: Nasrallah

Jawad Nasrallah films his father addressing his supporters in Beirut’s southern suburbs, on Nov. 3, 2014.

BEIRUT: Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah emphasized in a speech Saturday that his party will focus its efforts on fighting corruption in the new government.

“We need to have laws to block the doors of corruption,” Nasrallah said during a commemoration ceremony to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Hezbollah’s leaders.

To fight corruption, the party has devised a plan that involves taking suspicious corruption files to the judiciary and protecting public funds.

“We want the stolen money to come back and the money present not to be stolen,” Nasrallah said, adding that the battle to combat corruption will involve all parliamentary blocs and parties, as well as the Lebanese people.

Curbing illicit financial activity and the squandering of public funds can help allay the threat of economic and financial collapse, which he stressed would affect all Lebanese people, regardless of their political affiliation.

Among the issues contributing to the wasting of public funds is the electricity sector, he said. From $1.5 billion to $2 billion of Lebanon’s annual budget is spent on electricity.

“In 2006, [then-]Minister Mohammad Fneish had proposed a plan to supply electricity from Iran. ... It was refused for political reasons. They said the Saudis and the Americans would be upset,” Nasrallah said.

He reiterated Iran’s willingness to supply Lebanon with electricity, and said he and his party would be open to any other solution provided by the government regarding the electricity crisis.

“We offered to get electricity from our friends, and you declined. Bring us offers from your friends - the Americans, Europeans and Saudis - and we will accept,” he said.

“From 2006 to 2019, the Lebanese people were denied electricity because of the political obedience and cowardness.”

While The Daily Star was not able to confirm the 2006 offer Nasrallah referenced, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters and politicians this week that Iran was prepared to offer Lebanon help in various sectors.

Nasrallah said he and his party did not want to take public money to supply their party, and did not want to offer contracts for their own companies.

“What we truly want is to solve the issues of the Lebanese people,” Nasrallah said.

 

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