Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun said on Tuesday following the bloc’s weekly meeting that the upcoming parliamentary elections must take place according to the proposed Orthodox electoral law stressing that all parties that reject this law are committing crimes against the country.
“If the Orthodox Gathering’s proposal is not adopted, it [will remain] impossible for us to reach consensus on a new law,” Aoun said adding “if the Orthodox draft fails to pass, all the parties who reject it would be “criminals against the country.”
Aoun added that the party responsible for any future political vacuum is the bloc “boycotting the parliament,” in reference to the Future Movement, which commands the largest parliamentary group.
In an interview published Tuesday by As-Safir newspaper, Prime Minister Nagib Mikati reiterated his call for a consensual electoral law and his rejection of the so called Orthodox Gathering electoral draft law which is sectarian based.
“The Orthodox law will legalize federalism and cantons and will undermine the Taif Accord,” he told the daily
The Orthodox draft law, which calls for proportional voting along sectarian lines had been endorsed by the country’s four major Christian parties. However, it was met with severe opposition from the Future Movement, the PSP, and independent March 14 Christian MPs, as well as President Michel Suleiman.
The Orthodox law was approved by the parliamentary joint commissions in February, but sparked angry responses from the Future Movement, independent March 14 Christians and the Progressive Socialist Party who refuse it for its sectarian nature.
Aoun also called for the establishment of a “special tribunal” that will look into the alleged embezzlement by the opposition .
“Whoever [touches] the state’s treasury must be held judicially accountable.” Aoun proclaimed
In February, Aoun released a book entitled “The impossible Exoneration” in which he claimed having presented documentation proving the opposing political party in Lebanon was embezzling state funds.
The FPM leader also urged public employees and teachers that are holding nationwide protests to join his call for the establishment of this special tribunal that looks into “financial crimes.” He said that the reason behind the deficit that is obstructing the raising of these employees’ salaries is “the corruption that we are [aiming to] address.”
He also announced that his party is preparing a list of financial resources that the government could use in order to finance the wage increases, in case the issue does not get referred to parliament.
Lebanese school teachers and government employees are engaged in an ongoing open strike that began on February 19 and has seen general protests across the country demanding the government speed up its approval of salary raises.
Aoun served as the acting prime minister From September 22 , 1988 to October 13, 1990 when he was defeated by the Syrian army. Aoun then went into exile in France and returned to Lebanon days after the Syrian army withdrew from Lebanon. Aoun was accused of robbing the Lebanese treasury while he was the acting PM.
Last March Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea launched a scathing attack against the Change and Reform bloc and its chief , saying that its ministers in government were corrupt.
“The thing that saddens me the most these days is that those who spoke diligently about corruption for the past 20 years proved to be the most corrupt in Lebanon’s history after taking charge of sensitive ministries in the government,” Geagea told a delegation of doctors in Meerab, north of Beirut on March 21, 2012
Similarly March 14 MP Mohammad Hajjar criticized Free patriotic Movement and its Change and Reform parliamentary bloc last February .He said their ministers are failures … they think they can outsmart the Lebanese people, but their reform and changes slogan is nothing but corruption and misfortune .
Elsewhere, the FPM chief commented today on the upcoming March 14 ceremony which is to take place on Sunday at Beirut’s BIEL exhibition hall.
“March 14’s motto ‘freedom, sovereignty, independence’ is ours,” Aoun said.
Aoun used to be in the March 14 alliance but but left it when he allied himself with the Hezbollah militant group in February 2006