Lebanese Kataeb party calls for “neutrality and decentralization” as an alternative to collapse

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The Kataeb party is trying to unite the opposition around a coherent economic policy.

By George Eid and Andrew Rosenbaum

Lebanon is in desperate need of a viable economic policy.

The Kataeb party is working with other members of the opposition to win the 2022 election and to form a technocratic government that a donor organization like the IMF could work with.

“The political system in Lebanon goes on strike against itself as its pillars vie for powers that no longer exist to prove to us who can more than the other contribute to our bankruptcy,” tweeted Samy Gemayel, head of the Kataeb party. , Last week. “They don’t live on the same planet as us. “

Gemayel, along with a number of other opposition members, resigned from parliament last year due to corruption and a massive explosion in Beirut.

Resigning Kataeb MP Elias Hankach told the Cyprus Mail about plans to save the country. At the center of the plan are neutrality – meaning the country would no longer have any political or ideological affiliations – and decentralization, meaning that decision-making would be moved to the regions – that would limit corruption.

Hankach believes that the next elections are crucial for any change to occur in the status quo. “Looking ahead to the next general election, we will present to the people, alongside our allies and partners in change, a comprehensive vision and a plan coherent reform of the economy, ”he insists.

Planning for the economy

Michel Moawad, leader of the Independence Movement allied to the Kataeb party, details the economic plan.

“We are on the verge of reaching a comprehensive agreement that will bring together the main opposition groups under the umbrella of a uniform program for the reform of the political system and the economic model of Lebanon.

Prioritizing Lebanon’s national interests over foreign agendas is the key to our country’s stability and prosperity, but should go hand in hand with a new economic model that protects our market economy and upholds our liberal values ​​while doing so. advancing social justice.

This program touches on a wide range of reforms, from the introduction of structural economic changes to decentralization.

“Neutrality would protect Lebanon from foreign interference in the country’s affairs and, therefore, end internal struggles over regional or international issues, which would ultimately guarantee local stability,” Gemayal explained.

Decentralization would bridge the gap between people and state, reduce red tape and cronyism, and promote sustainable development, he said.

Gemayel indicated that his party submitted a bill to this effect in 2014. The sub-committee reached a near-consensus on major points such as the adoption of administrative and fiscal decentralization, he said. declared.

“The proposal could be promulgated in the very near future if the political will exists,” he added.

Kataeb party and opposition have a chance to succeed

In the next elections in 2022, the opposition parties have a chance to succeed if they form a united front, according to political analyst Johnny Mnayar, who told the Cyprus Mail: “Kataeb is positioning itself as an alternative choice during the elections. next elections. They must partner with independent activists and other independent MPs to build a credible and strong coalition that can beat the current ruling parties.

The Kataeb party is anchored in the history of Lebanon

The Kataeb party was founded in 1936, and it emerged as a Christian Maronite militia in the civil wars.

But, in the 1980s, he was part of the ruling coalition. Then, in 1982, the leader of the “Lebanese Resistance” and elected president Bachir Gemayel was assassinated by a member of the Syrian Nationalist Social Party. His brother Amine Gemayel was then elected President of Lebanon.

The Kataeb were also one of the driving forces behind what was called “the Cedar Revolution” in 2005. It brought Syrian troops out of Lebanon, ending an occupation that had lasted since the Lebanese civil war.

In 2006, Kataeb Minister Pierre Gemayel was assassinated. The following year, the party witnessed the assassination of their deputy Antoine Ghanem in the explosion of a car bomb.

Through it all, the party persisted and increased its support both at home and abroad.

“When French Foreign Minister Jean Yves le Drian came to Lebanon last May, he made it clear in his schedule that he did not want to meet any of the leaders. Instead, he chose to meet with independent activists and the leader of the Kataeb party, Samy Gemayel. It sends a strong message, ”Mnayar said.

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