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Lebanon News

Ramgavar slams Bassil over performance, says he should quit

Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil arrives to attend a Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Monday, July 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Ramgavar Party head Harout Yerganian called Tuesday for the resignation of Energy Minister Gebran Bassil over his poor performance at his ministry and the handling of the Electricite Du Liban contract workers affair.

“The government that flounders in its political, developmental and political tracks cannot hide its failure of resolving the people’s everyday needs and the best evidence of this is the manner in which Energy Minister has dealt with resolving the case of the [EDL] contract workers,” Yerganian said in a statement.

Contract workers at the state-run company have held a months-long strike at the headquarters of EDL in Beirut, disrupting operations and maintenance at the company leading to power cuts.

Yerganian described Bassil as suffering from “schizophrenia,” citing the minister’s calls for demonstrations against power cuts, “in other words protests against himself.”

He also accused the energy minister of having tried to bargain away the demands of Lebanese Armenians toward Turkey through a recent multi-million dollar plan between Beirut and Turkey to assist the country’s ailing electricity sector.

Voicing surprise over Bassil’s recent statements during the signing of a $360-million, three-year electricity plan with Turkey, Yerganian said that the “energy minister seems to have forgotten who his Armenian allies are in the government,” in reference to the Tashnag Party.

“As if his failure in the electricity sector were not enough, Bassil also wants to compromise on the Armenian demands of the Turkish government,” he said.

During the signing of the three-year lease of electricity-generating ships from Turkey earlier this month, Bassil said that Lebanon should use the opportunity to strengthen the special relationship between the two countries.

 

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