MEPs accuse Lebanon’s political system of being behind the crisis and call for immediate action


BEIRUT: A group of members of the European Parliament on Tuesday accused Lebanon’s sectarian political system of deepening the economic and political crisis after a three-day visit to the country.

The five MEPs, who represent the electoral bloc of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, said they would ask for an urgent debate to be held at Parliament’s next plenary session in Strasbourg, to discuss the difficulties Lebanon is confronted.

In a statement, the bloc’s vice president, Pedro Marques, said: “It is difficult to describe the terrible conditions in which the Lebanese have been forced to live.

“Thousands of people have lost their jobs. Hyperinflation. Shortage of food. Lack of medicine. People forced to queue for hours for fuel. basic services such as unmanageable hospitals.”

Marques continued that “there is a clear culprit for all of this: the sectarian political system that has proven to be the main problem for the future of this country.

“In a country where stability means confirming an unacceptable status quo, the Lebanese people deserve a real paradigm shift. The current power-sharing system, the numerous abuses and widespread corruption must end.”

Since August 2020, Lebanon has been run by an interim government, while the country’s economy has collapsed. Efforts to form a new government have been hampered by political wrangling. It is believed that more than 70% of the population lives below the poverty line and faces severe shortages of basic necessities.

President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati are reportedly close to an agreement on the formation of the Cabinet, after a month-long process that has been delayed by disagreements between the two over the allocation of Cabinet posts and positions. ministerial portfolios.

Isabel Santos, who visited the delegation, said that “conflicting political interests and selfishness risk plunging the country and its people into an unprecedented political, economic and social crisis. People must have the right to decide their future through free and fair elections“. It is crucial that all planned elections are held in 2022.”

Santos also called for accountability for the Beirut port explosion that destroyed swaths of the capital and killed 218 people.

“This culture of impunity and lack of accountability must end,” she said.

“This must also be true for the judiciary, which has the right and the moral duty to carry out an independent investigation into the terrible explosion in the port of Beirut and to finally obtain justice for the families of the victims.”

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