After Two Years, Lebanon Has Done Nothing in Response to the Port of Beirut Blast
Beirut Silo Collapses, Reviving Trauma Ahead of Blast Anniversary Lebanon Parliament Speaker Says No Presidential Vote Without IMF Laws
“Lebanon has a very limited time to make essential changes to curb the suffering of its people and reinforce its crumbling institutions before the country collapses. We conveyed to all lawmakers the need to pass an IMF relief package, close on the maritime border issue and quickly identify a consensus candidate for the presidency capable of meeting the needs of the Lebanese people. The August 4th explosion, the current financial crisis and negligence of the government have caused death and suffering. The clock is ticking on Lebanese leaders to grab onto the lifelines offered to them by the international community and signal to the world that they themselves will no longer stand in the way of progress.”
-ATFL President Edward M. Gabriel
Beirut Silo Collapses, Reviving Trauma Ahead of Blast Anniversary Eerily close to the second anniversary of the tragic Port of Beirut Explosion that killed more than 215 people on August 4th, 2020, a portion of the damaged grain silos collapsed yesterday, after Lebanese officials warned last week that such a structural failure would occur. [Reuters]
How much more grief can the people in Lebanon endure? These recent fires and collapse of the silos only reinforce the scenario that no one in power cares and prefers to avoid responsibility rather than face it. The courts are hamstrung by the politicians who are seeing their edifice of respectability crumbling like the silos – smoldering from the internal corruption that denies Lebanon recovery and accountability. So sad that Lebanon has come to this, again. How much longer can it rely on the outside world for its stability since its leadership is unable to proactively address its corruption?
-ATFL Vice President Jean AbiNader
Lebanon Parliament Speaker Says No Presidential Vote Without IMF Laws On Saturday, Lebanese Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, reiterated the position that he would not execute the protocol of calling for a session to elect a new president before the legislative body passes the necessary reforms that are pre-conditional to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial relief package. According to Reuters, “President Michel Aoun’s six-year term ends on Oct. 31, and top politicians have voiced concern about no successor being found – warning of even greater institutional deadlock given that Lebanon has also been without a fully functioning government since May.” [Reuters]
Either a grand chess move or a response to the pressure being brought by the international community and Lebanese abroad, this acknowledgement by the Speaker of the importance of tying the IMF package and the election clearly boosts forward movement to reform. Maybe it’s his legacy calling or a reminder of the importance of the leadership needed to change the current system. Whichever, the draft legislation is in place, some already passed. Lebanon’s parliament has run out of excuses. Time to act for the people and the country, not the sect or the village. Rise up, Lebanon!
-ATFL Vice President Jean AbiNader
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed 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.