Former PMs met at the Center House: To adopt serious orientation to halt economic deterioration

NNA - Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri received this afternoon at the Center House former Prime Ministers Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora, and Tamam Salam. Discussions tackled the latest political developments.

After the meeting, Premier Siniora read the following statement:

“Former Prime Ministers Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora, Saad Hariri and Tamam Salam held a meeting at the Center House that issued the following:

Lebanon is going through a deep political, economic, financial, monetary and socio-economic crisis. The situation deteriorated recently and threatens to reach a serious national crisis unless the presidency and its government change their policies immediately, return to respecting the constitution, laws and the interest of the Lebanese state, and focus on adopting the measures that can alleviate the suffering of the country and the citizens.

The current government, chosen by the Mandate and its political allies, has unfortunately turned into a tool for settling political scores and for revenge practices, and became a platform for throwing accusations and initiating conflicts in all directions, as well as a barrage behind which some personal maliciousness and presidential aspirations hide, unconcerned about the Taef Accord, the constitution, the implementation of laws, or the interest of the Lebanese state.

The daily suffering of the Lebanese is getting worse every day, and will intensify, unless the Mandate and the Lebanese government regain the lost trust locally and on the Arab and International levels, financially and politically.

Therefore, and out of national responsibility, and the keenness on the higher national interest that requires overcoming differences to save our homeland from what it is in, we call on the President and the government to take the following steps:

1- Adopt a serious orientation and will to halt the economic, financial and monetary deterioration in agreement with the International Monetary Fund, as the only international institution that has become accredited and relied on by the most countries of the international community, to give the necessary credibility to any economic plan that the Lebanese state adheres to.

2- Approve the reform that must be adopted without any delay, instead of diverting attention from the real causes of problems, and fabricating political battles that will only lead to more tension in the country, and waste resources and opportunities to put an end to the crises engulfing Lebanon.

3- Stop attempts to transform the Lebanese system from a parliamentary democratic system to a presidential system, and stop targeting the powers of the premiership to make it obedient to the small ambitions or hatreds of some, and return to the principle of separation of powers, balance and cooperation between these powers, and respect the independence of the judiciary.

4- Reassure the Lebanese that the presidency and the government adhere to the principles of the Taef Accord that is based on coexistence, respecting the constitution, preserving public and private freedoms, enabling the state to extend its full authority over all its land and facilities and control its imports, and restoring the criteria of competence, merit, and entitlement to occupy positions in state departments and institutions. As well as adopting accountability in the institutions on the basis of performance.

5-  Stop counterfeiting anti-corruption and turning it into a campaign of revenge and settling political scores, and start working to restore the confidence of the Lebanese and the world in the Lebanese administration through real, honest, impartial corruption-fighting, and by establishing the state of law that applies to everyone without any exception.

6- Stop the delay and procrastination in issuing the judicial appointments with unconvincing pretexts, and immediately release them as prepared by the Supreme Judicial Council, which removes suspicions about the intention to control the judiciary for political ends, and proves seriousness and sincerity in the approach of fighting corruption.

7- Realize the dangers of the isolation of Lebanon from its Arab and international surrounding, and accelerate the restoration of Lebanon’s Arab and international relations, by emphasizing on disassociating the Lebanese state and government, with all its components, from any regional or international conflicts or axes, to avoid more negative repercussions on the political, economic, financial and monetary levels, and to restore the confidence of the Lebanese citizens and the Arab and international communities.

We warn against the consequences of the pursuit by the Mandate and its government of the policies and practices that lead our country to a serious national crisis that turns difficulties into collapse, and suffering into an explosion. We call on them to return immediately to adopting the real and promised remedies that unite the Lebanese and do not separate them, within the framework of respecting the Taef Accord, the constitution and laws, and restore the confidence of citizens in their state, and the Arab and international confidence in Lebanon in order to preserve its interest and the interest of all Lebanese.

The protests have returned to the streets in the Lebanese cities and towns, despite the preventive measures from the Ministry of Health due to the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that after more than three months of patience, the aggravation of the crises and the spread of poverty, the citizens took to the streets to express their anger and disappointment and to demand reform, an end of the collapse and attention to the basic needs of the Lebanese. Of course, we do not accept the destruction of banks, shops, private and public properties. We do not accept the attacks against the army and security forces, and we pay tribute to them for their resilience and empathy towards the rightful demands of the Lebanese. But we request investigations about the violence, the deaths and the injuries that took place. And do not accept that the army and security forces be used as if they are the ones restricting the citizens' lives and freedoms.

We assure all the Lebanese, including our people in Tripoli, the North, Beirut, Sidon, the South, Bekaa and Mount Lebanon, that we will remain faithful to their issues and problems that are national problems that cannot be ignored, as the abuses caused by this Mandate and this government to the citizens, the Lebanese system and its constitution cannot be disregarded.”

Mikati from Baabda: Independent Center Bloc did not nominate anyone to head government

NNA - Former PM Najib Mikati announced, after meeting President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, that his bloc, the Independent Center, did not name anyone as head of government.

Mikati said after the meeting: "Finally, the binding consultations, that we were calling for, took place and during the fifty-day period we noticed how things developed as each day of delay cost a great deal on the economy and social conditions of all Lebanese. In the Independent Central Bloc, which will soon participate in the consultations, we discussed this morning the issue of naming and set standards for the Prime Minister who is ready and who has expressed his willingness to take on this difficult task. And the criteria are the capabilities of this person, his attendance, and his representative capacity. Frankly, despite my personal respect for the two subjects, we did not find anyone with these specifications, and therefore we did not name anyone and veiled the designation".

Replying to a question Mikati said "With all my respect for people and my friendship with them, in this period we need an exceptional person with an exceptional team. I do not want to frustrate the hopes of the Lebanese, but I have doubts that none of the parties can take over at this stage".

"We are not talking about the Sunni or Christian cover, and I remind you that Prime Minister Hariri asked to delay consultations because the Lebanese forces and the Free Patriotic Movement refused to name him, and therefore this matter should be a message that we are not satisfied with the name that landed by parachute" Mikati stated.
Replying to another question the Former PM stated "It is the path of things which determines the name, and if the designation is all of one color, then it will be a Government of one color. As for the comparison between the conditions for forming my Government and the current conditions, it is not suitable, because the situation is much more difficult, and I remind you that I spoke about capabilities, attendance and representation. You must compare to know how the conditions are different".


Main achievements

Prime Minister Najib Mikati has added many accomplishments to his credit during his term of office as a Minister of Public Works and Transport and later during his premiership, and at large through Azm & Saade Association, including but not limited to:


Achievements in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

Improving and raising the level of maintenance works, road asphalting, construction and expansion, the construction of several bridges and governmental serails, developing the main master plan for regional areas, the completion of many studies of land regrouping and partitioning, the approval of the Public Safety Act for buildings and facilities and the Urban Transport Project for the Greater Beirut.


Furthermore, he has worked on the rehabilitation and equipping of the Port of Beirut, the construction of new buildings and extra docks, the rehabilitation of containers docks, the deepening of docks in the port of Tripoli and the access channel, in addition to embanking additional waterfront space as well as the rehabilitation of the ports of Sidon and Tyre and 22 fishing ports along the Lebanese coast.

New parking lots, a duty free zone and a public building were set up at the Beirut Airport, air monitoring devices were inaugurated and the open skies policy was established.


The foundation stone was laid for the rehabilitation of the railway linking Tripoli to Abbudiyeh and the Rayak- the Syrian border line, and activating the public transport serving the various regions.



Achievements of the First Najib Mikati’s government

The most prominent achievement of the Government of Najib Mikati is it was a true echo of the people’s voice and hopes, thus achieving the desire of the Lebanese to hold the parliamentary elections in the constitutional time limits in a climate of freedom and integrity. It is also committed to keep pace with the international investigation into Hariri's murder and carried out all the commitments made in the ministerial statement.

The most notable accomplishment of the government was an ongoing ministerial workshop at the Grand Serail to study a lot of urgent questions. By the end of this workshop, since the government was granted confidence on April 27 and until June 20, 644 decrees were issued, in addition to 479 resolutions and 19 circulars, alongside a daily follow-up of ministerial affairs, especially in those that are in direct contact with the citizens daily life, the handling of the medication issue that many governments had previously declined to approach , in addition to the decision on allowing Palestinians born in Lebanon to work in some sectors, and the abolition of visas for those wishing to visit Lebanon, businessmen, tourists and patients, in order to make Lebanon the beacon of the region. It is noteworthy that the decrees and decisions issued sent highly positive signals to the international markets as to the trustworthy efforts of Lebanon to facilitate and attract investments.


Since the very first day Prime Minister Najib Mikati took office as Prime Minister, he announced and confirmed that the government is a continuity, and that his government will continue to implement the positive decisions issued by the previous government, while he hoped that the next governments will  continue his course of action, because the priority is for the country and not for the individuals and any success will benefit the whole country. Mikati expressed his hope that the next government will consider the good actions which he has performed and seek to complete them, especially by promoting the comprehensive development plan that was established and dubbed "the road to the Beirut Pact".

Achievements through the Charity Association of "Azm & Saade Association"

Out of its confidence that human beings cannot achieve their aspirations but in light of a just and balanced social order and in the context of an integrated evolution and development process, Azm & Saade Association undertook, through its engineering section, to implement and follow-up on a set of rehabilitation actions, including the full rehabilitation of the port of fishermen in Qalamoun, the rehabilitation of the neighborhood surrounding the Moses cafe and the implementation of the pioneer quarter in the Abi Samra region, the creation of a pedestrian bridge in the Muharram region, the rehabilitation of corridors in the Bab el Raml cemetries, the expansion and establishment of a Winter Stadium at the Noor School in region of Mina’, the restoration and expansion of the Zahra basketball Club in the port of Tripoli, the restoration of one of the oldest buildings in the Azmi street, the drilling of a number of wells and the restoration of a number of water canals in Tripoli, the rehabilitation of buildings in the Cedar street (Al-Arz), as well as the rehabilitation of the buildings façades in the archeological Victory Square in the Mina’ area, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of a the Madfoun bridge which was destroyed during the Israeli attack, and the restoration and rehabilitation of the Emir Assaf Mosque in Beirut.

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