Lebanon Daily News Brief 05/24/2022

Tuesday, May 24, 2022




Association of Banks in Lebanon Rejects Cabinet’s Recovery Plan
The Association of Banks in Lebanon announced its rejection of the financial recovery plan that was put forward by the Lebanese Cabinet at the end of last week, just before the Government went into caretaker status. According to Reuters, “the Association of Banks in Lebanon said on Tuesday that the plan places the full losses of the country’s economic meltdown on depositors.” [Reuters]

Deir Ammar Power Plant Shuts Down
According to Electricité du Liban (EDL), “The stock of fuel at the Deir Ammar power plant, the only one currently operating, will be completely exhausted . . . This will lead to a mandatory shutdown of the plant from Tuesday morning. Only hydropower plants, whose production capacity does not exceed 100 megawatts, will remain operational.” The imported shipment of diesel fuel is expected to arrive May 25th. [L’Orient Today]

Healthcare Professionals to Strike Thursday, Friday
The Syndicates of Doctors of Lebanon in Beirut and the North as well as the Syndicate of Private Hospital Owners have called for a general strike on Thursday and Friday of this week, in which there will be a cessation of all non-emergency healthcare. The strike aims to address the shortage of medicines and medical supplies. [The961]


Setting The Agenda: What’s Next In Lebanon?
Jean AbiNader
AbiNader writes, “It is far more logical to address the questions faced by the past unsuccessful governments and assess how new coalitions will orient themselves around the following issues: improvement of the electricity sector, banking reform, independence of the judiciary, anti-corruption measures, and the many other policies that must be seriously implemented and prevail in the country. Can the various opposition and independent groups generate a common platform that will draw the necessary votes for success? One would think that this should be a no-brainer, but then again, this is the Lebanese government  that we’re talking about. For example, most politicians agree that electricity reform and restructuring is needed but fault lines emerge over contracting, oversight, reporting, rate-setting, and other trivial points of contention that would be easier to solve if the new parliament and government just follow the steps that were outlined in legislation passed in March: independent monitors, a non-confessional electricity board, an independent body for setting rates and production issues, etc. The political will to act on these issues should now be less difficult to muster.”

The National
Hurdles Ahead For Lebanon’s Presidential Candidates

Michael Young
Young writes, “Going into the election, many people identified two favourites, based largely on the fact that the main party that had to be satisfied was Hezbollah. The two candidates were Gebran Bassil, the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun and head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), and Suleiman Franjieh, a northern politician close to Syria and Hezbollah and the grandson of a previous Lebanese president with the same name. To different degrees, the election results damaged the prospects of both men. While Mr Bassil still has a large parliamentary bloc, his party lost ground in terms of seats won when compared to the results it obtained in the 2018 election. Now the largest Christian bloc is that of the Lebanese Forces, with the Bassil-led bloc coming in second.” 

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.