Lebanon Daily News Brief 05/12/2022

Thursday, May 12, 2022




Energy Ministry Issues Eleven Licenses for Small-Scale Solar Power
During a press conference, the Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayyad announced the issue of licenses to eleven companies to produce solar power projects of 15 megawatts each. The Minister also clarified that the projects would have one year’s time to secure funding, which presumably will not be provided by the Ministry. [Reuters]

Raja Salameh Released on Record High Bail
Raja Salameh, the brother of Riad Salameh (Lebanon’s central bank governor), was released on a bail of 100 billion LBP (the equivalent of approximately $3.7 million USD). His release comes after his March 17 arrest in which he was charged with complicity in the illegal enrichment of his brother, who was also criminally charged. [Reuters]

UN: ‘Lebanese Government Violated Human Rights By Mismanaging Crisis’
According to Reuters, “Lebanon’s government and its central bank have committed human rights violations by impoverishing people through the ‘callous destruction’ of the country’s economy, an independent United Nations report said on Wednesday.” [Reuters]

Schools, Public Institutes, Nightclubs To Close During Polling, Motorcycles Banned On Sunday
According to L’Orient Today, “Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi on Tuesday issued a decision pertaining to movement and business opening hours around parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday. The decision includes banning motorcycles across the country.” [L’Orient Today] “Education Minister Abbas Halabi issued a decision on Wednesday to close high schools and public institutes from Thursday morning until Monday evening so that they can be used as polling stations for the parliamentary elections.” [L’Orient Today]


Listen To The Secretary General – All Is Not Well!
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lambasted Lebanon’s ruling elite and Hezbollah using harsh terms in his regular report to the Security Council on May 4. The Secretary General’s semi-annual report on the implementation of a 2004 Security Council resolution reiterated its two key demands that have yet to be fulfilled: the Lebanese government’s establishment of sovereignty throughout the country and the disarmament and disbandment of all Lebanese militias . . . Overseas voting took place just this past weekend, one week ahead of the national polls in Lebanon. Without exit polls, however, any indications of the results will presumably be revealed through inference, until the votes are counted after May 15 that is. There are strong indications that the Lebanese Forces (LF) in particular may repeat its strong showing of 2018 but with three times as many expatriate voters in 2022, it is well-honed speculation at this point.”

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Middle East Institute
Four Key Dynamics To Watch As Lebanon Heads To The Polls

Randa Slim

Slim writes, “Will higher expatriate turnout be a harbinger of what to expect on May 15, when residents cast their ballots? In 2018, voter turnout was 49.7%. Public opinion polls have been contradictory. Some show a higher level of enthusiasm among voters while others indicate disillusionment and apathy, which will likely lead to lower turnout. It is also not clear whether higher voter turnout will benefit the independent candidates and civil society activists who rose to prominence in the October 2019 protests or reaffirm the hold that traditional parties have so far maintained over the Lebanese electorate.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.