Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the incidents that took place last night in Hamra area. He said: The logic of destroying the streets of Hamra, Saifi and others is unacceptable. The citizens of Beirut, and I am one of them, are fed up with this matter.
He asked: Where were the security forces and the Lebanese army when these events took place? and called on them to do their duty to protect the people, institutions and every citizen or institution subjected to violence.
Hariri responded to the campaigns against the Central Bank Governor Riad Salame, and asked: Who borrowed the money and spent it? The Central Bank Governor or the Lebanese State? Who failed to solve the electricity problem? The Central Bank Governor or the Lebanese State? accusing the Free Patriotic Movement of obstructing the work of the government.
Hariri’s remarks came during a chat with journalists after his meeting with Central Bank Governor Riad Salame this evening at the Center House. He said: The right to demonstrate in Lebanon is natural and everyone knows how the caretaker government dealt with all the demonstrators. But what happened last night pictured an ownerless permissible Beirut. No, Beirut is not like that. The logic of destroying the streets of Hamra, Saifi and others is unacceptable. The peaceful demonstrations are welcome, but others are rejected. The people of Beirut, and I am one of them, are fed up with this matter. We, as a movement, are silently sitting in our homes, but where are the security forces and the Lebanese Army? The security forces must carry out their duties to protect the people, institutions and every citizen or institution subjected to violence.
Hariri responded to the campaigns against Central Bank Governor Riad Salame. He said: Everyone wants to blame the Central Bank for all the financial woes in the country. But we have to know one thing. There are 47 to 50 billion dollars that the Lebanese state borrowed for electricity. If we had accomplished the reforms required for electricity since day one, there would be 47 billion in the pockets of the Lebanese today. But these billions are today in the pockets of the owners of illegal generators and you know who are the owners of illegal generators.
He added: Before blaming someone, we have to see where this money went and how it was spent and what is the responsibility of the political parties in losing these sums.
He continued: Some say that I am a prime minister and I am responsible. This is certain, but there were those who had nothing to do except to disrupt the work of the government, and everyone knows who they are.
Asked who they are, he answered: The Free Patriotic Movement was the one obstructing the work of the government.
In response to a question about those who accuse the Future movement of obstructing the solution to the electricity crisis, Hariri said: Let them say where we obstructed the solution. Were we in charge of the Ministry of Energy once since 2008 and after that? Even during the days of Martyr Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and until today? I want to ask: Who borrowed and spent the money? The Central Bank Governor or the Lebanese State? Who failed to solve the electricity crisis? The Central Bank Governor or the Lebanese State?
On what he called a campaign to uproot the Central Bank Governor, Hariri said: There are people who do not understand the economy or numbers, and give economic information that has no basis or pillars. The topic is very easy, if there was 24 hour electricity in Lebanon, it would have been able to earn money from electricity.
As for the talk about the intention of the new government to dismiss the Central Bank Governor and the Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Major General Imad Othman, he said: Let them form the government first. The Governor has immunity and nobody can dismiss him, and let every government assume its responsibilities. I will not get ahead of things, and like any political team, we will give the new government a chance to work and see what it will produce, and then we will decide our position on it. Didn’t the martyr prime minister do the same?
In response to a question, Hariri denied having faced a political coup, specifically from Speaker Nabih Berri.
Asked: It was said that you returned to Lebanon after you were asked to implement the role of a caretaker premier, he replied: I returned to Lebanon because it is my duty to come back and be among the people. I am no one’s employee.
Source: National News Agency