The Lebanese parliament passed the bill calling for recovery of embezzled public funds, with some minor amendments. Previously, it had also adopted the release of $ 200 million for the purchase of fuel oil for power stations.
The legal deadlines would thus be extended with the exception of those linked to illicit enrichment.
Meeting this Monday, March 29 at the Unesco Palace due to the circumstances induced by the Coronavirus COVID19, the President of the Chamber, Nabih Berri had previously responded to the request of the outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab who had called him to clarify the powers attributed to the outgoing government. He thus indicated that “if it is a question of changing the constitution, that will not happen”, before calling for the formation of a government within 2 months. Lebanon could be in danger, if at all, he believes, comparing it to the Titanic.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Budget had previously considered that the outgoing government should continue its mission and meet on an exceptional basis to make decisions related to the budget and the rationalization of public subsidies. Ibrahim Kanaan thus specified that the subsidy program would cost up to 11 billion annually in Lebanon and that this policy should have been modified a long time ago.
Turning to the issue of EDL subsidies, he believes the current advance is a temporary solution “or we will be left in darkness and hospitals and institutions closed.
The Chairman of the parliamentary finance and budget committee Ibrahim Kanaan had previously called for its adoption and rapid. At the end of the session, he also recalled that the application of this law – originally proposed by the Free Patriotic Current – falls to the Lebanese justice.
The president of the Lebanese Forces parliamentary bloc, Georges Adwan, for his part, considered that the problem is not linked to the adoption of laws concerning the fight against illicit enrichment but to their application, recalling that a dozen many laws had thus been passed without being applied by successive governments.
The deputy Ali Fayad of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc (Hezbollah), for his part, underlined the importance of this law as well as the establishment of a “functional” committee to monitor the embezzled funds.
This commission must be formed on “a procedural basis” he said, stressing the need to set up a government that applies the legal texts.