Geagea: Dialogue with Hezbollah and its allies is a waste of time
He told Asharq Al-Awsat that electing a president like Aoun means prolonging the Lebanese crisis indefinitely.
Wednesday – 7 Jumada Al-Awwal 1444 AH – 30 November 2022 AD Issue Number [
Samir Geagea (Media of the “Lebanese Forces”)
Beirut: Thaer Abbas
The head of the “Lebanese Forces” party, dr. Samir Geagea, usually prefers to spread an atmosphere of optimism and reduce the level of pessimism, unlike the prevailing in Lebanon, which is experiencing one of its most difficult financial crises, to which a vacuum has recently been added in the position of the president of the Republic, questioning the legitimacy of the caretaker government to run the country in the absence of the president. . Geagea believes that “we need more struggle and impulsiveness in times of crisis, and unlike normal days that tolerate some laxity, now we need double action to get out of the crisis.” Geagea says in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that his concern is currently divided in two directions, the social suffering that affects the “weakest” groups. “Help the weakest in this society as much as we can because we are not a state,” he says. But people suffer a lot.” As for the most important thing, it is to ensure the election of a new president, “because it could be the real entrance to the beginning of the rescue.” However, Geagea believes that the election simply to fill the position is not a solution. And he affirms that “the election of a president is not (new) in the sense other than what happened in the last six years (the era of General Michel Aoun), which means that the current situation will continue indefinitely. That is why my main focus is on this point and I am putting all my efforts towards it.
In light of the existing crisis, and the absence of state institutions, there are those who see a “tendency towards decentralization in aid and security”, which Geagea admits exists “in terms of life, but in terms of security, is the matter not correct,” considering that the security forces are the army and internal security forces. Others exist and try to play their role as much as they can, but despite this he takes notes on the performance of these forces and says: “I see that their activity is sometimes limited and has some weaknesses. In this regard he mentioned the incident of cutting the ropes of the ski center in the north, where an organized operation was carried out behind which an organized and expert party, with advanced equipment, took place, but the security forces have not reached any wire so far , which is surprising.
In terms of life, Geagea gives an example: “If it wasn’t for the effort made by (his wife), representative Strida Geagea, the snowplow mechanisms in Bsharri (north) would not be able to work due to the exhaustion of diesel, nor the government hospital or schools. As for Deir al-Ahmar (east), the Union of Municipalities is seeking to secure solar power. Geagea comes from the living file to correct politics again: “Sometimes every neighborhood in Lebanon tries to do what it can, and all this because there is no room for hope among the Lebanese in the possibility of salvation. The election of a new president will give a glimmer of hope, revive the situation and begin the path of remedies.
It is clear that Geagea holds Hezbollah and its allies responsible for the crises affecting the country, and for this reason he does not see the benefit of dialogue with him. And he says: «We are of the opinion that the other party, which is the axis of resistance, is the reason for what we have achieved today, and therefore we cannot deal with matters in the manner of (Downey, who was the disease ). We cannot engage in dialogue with those who caused the crisis to get out of it, except that the daily practices of this team do not bode well. The evidence is that since the beginning of the crisis about 3 years ago, the other party has had the majority in Parliament and the government, so has it done one thing to address the crisis? Did he stop the horrible practices he was doing? The answer in both cases is no. President Mikati had a specific thought that could have alleviated the electricity crisis, but the other team prevented him from doing so. And he asks: “Why are we going to talk to this team? Dialogue is to bring in a president who will have half of it, and that means (compensation for your safety), and therefore the rescue operation will fail.
And the hope of electing a president? Geagea claims that “the horizon is not blocked because there are 15 delegates who put themselves in the middle, some of whom vote for names that have no hope of reaching the presidency, or with certain slogans or a white paper. On the other hand, we, as an opposition team, publicly say that we want a president who can launch and contribute to the rescue operation, not just a president with whom we agree on the method of (grow beards) . We don’t just want a president who puts him in the position, but we want a president who contributes to the necessary rescue operation. The hope is that they realize that it is necessary to do something. We do not stick to our candidate, nor does Mr Michel Moawad stick to his candidacy, if there is a convincing alternative that fits him in the required qualities and can get more votes.
And on the issue of the “powers” supporting the two-thirds quorum for holding the session to elect the president and his disagreement with the words of Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai last Sunday, in which he asked for the acceptance of the ordinary quorum in the subsequent election sessions, Geagea confirms that there is no disagreement with the patriarch in this area, because “we have no final position on this issue.” ». And he says: “They accused representative George Adwan of what he said in one of the sessions, which means that now we have to go to the elections according to this quorum, as long as some stick to it. This issue is raised at the wrong time. What’s the point of offering it now? The solution is to hold a session of the House of Representatives to interpret the constitution, and this is currently not possible, because the Speaker of Parliament and other powers approaching half of the members assume this quorum, and therefore it is not possible to get a result, while it is better for us to immediately go and elect a new president for the country.
Geagea points out that “before the axis of opposition came to power in Lebanon, this issue was not raised. This topic was invented to disrupt, not to solve. In the past, there were blocs that respected themselves and their voters, and went to parliament to elect a new president for the republic even if they did not have the majority they needed. This is why President Suleiman Franjieh won by one vote over his rival in 1970. The only solution is for the delegates to have enough dignity and honor to go to parliament and be elected. The exit of a deputy from the session is understandable, and the exit of a bloc is sometimes understandable if it is for a reason, but for the elections to be disrupted every time their candidate is not happy, it is shameful. For our part, we may do it once, twice or more to try to change some positions in the event that their candidate gets enough votes, but we will not refrain from always attending as they do with a taste and determination not to submit. other.
Here Geagea puts a lot of blame on President Nabih Berri, because he is the one who is supposed to ensure the regularity of work in the only constitutional institution that is still active, and therefore he had to invite the heads of the blocs who are absent and ask them to attend and support their candidate. They must be present at a session to elect a president.
And he says: “The party that is disrupting the sessions is the opposition team, and it is not waiting for an international settlement. (Hezbollah) wanted to elect the former deputy Suleiman Franjieh as president from the first session, but it could not gathered forces to support his candidacy, so he decided to postpone it, while waiting for Representative Gebran Bassil to soften the position of Representative Gebran Bassil by electing Franjieh, and it is very difficult in my opinion. They also trying to gather additional votes to vote for their candidate. And he asks: “What is the logic in what the party is proposing, that in the absence of consensus, there is no need to attend the sessions?” Whoever wants consensus should talk to the other parties and present his candidate and specifications. The consensus they want is that we rally around the (Hizbollah) candidate, and this is impossible for us, and madness on their part.
Finally, Geagea affirms that “the only hope of further notice is with the 65 delegates without the axis of opposition,” but he does not hesitate to express his regret that “some delegates have disappointed by standing in the middle. ” And he claims that “an understanding with (Hezbollah) and the Free Patriotic Movement is impossible, since we have seen their practices, and we know their truth.” Even after the country collapsed, they still hold on to their old views and practices that cannot provide solutions to crises. They did not take any lessons from what happened. I don’t expect anything from the other party, but I will wait for the rest of the delegates other than the opposition party.
We work every day and every hour with great effort to convince a deputy from here and a deputy from there, but unfortunately it is as if we are digging the mountain with a needle. He says, “The party has a big project rooted in religion, history and geography, so it wants dialogue to impose its conditions. Therefore, we will not engage in dialogue with them, because dialogue with them is a waste of time, at a time when we cannot waste a single minute.