Phalange Party fires Labor Minister Sij’aan Qazzi

Lebanese Labour minister Sij'aan Qazzi,
Lebanese Labour minister Sij’aan Qazzi,

Labor Minister Sij’aan Qazzi who represented the   Phalange Party in the cabinet was fired by the party for not abiding by its decision to resign from Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s government.

“Based on the report of the party’s general secretariat, which highlighted Minister Qazzi’s clear violation of the party’s bylaws, Phalange Party’s political bureau has decided to permanently expel Minister Sij’aan  Qazzi from the  Party,” the politburo said in a statement.

Phalange Party chief MP Sami Gemayel had first announced the resignation of party ministers last Tuesday. Shortly after the announcement, Information Minister Ramzi Jreij declared that he will not resign from the government, noting that he is not a member of the  Party although he was nominated by it.

This leaves Economy Minister Alain Hakim as the only Phalange Party minister that will quit the cabinet .

Jazzi  told MTV : “As the party erred in announcing the resignations it erred today in firing me “, hinting that the decision may have been made much earlier because some party members don’t like him.

He accused the party of using the resignation issue to fire him.

Qazzi regretted the party’s decision but noted that he has “no grudge” towards Gemayel or party  members.

On Sunday  he reiterated his long long history with the parry

“I’m not an ordinary minister but one who has a long national history although some do not like to acknowledge that. I was with (slain president-elect) Bashir (Gemayel) at the age of 20 and I was a partner in decision-making, so I will not implement a decision without having a say in it at the age of 60,” Qazzi told al-Mustaqbal newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

He added: “I’m not seeking a confrontation  with my party, in which I grew up and which had a role and an impact in my life … I hope the party will understand my decision so that I can continue this path which started more than 45 years ago.”

A cartoon of Minister Qazzi and MP Sami Gemayel courtesy of al Diar newspaper
A cartoon of Minister Qazzi and MP Sami Gemayel courtesy of al Diar newspaper

Gemayel announced the resignations of Qazzi and Economy Minister Alain Hakim on Tuesday, accusing the government of failing to address the country’s problems.

“The Phalange  Party has decided to resign from the government because Lebanon needs a ‘positive shock’,” said Gemayel at a press conference earlier last week.

“The government  has not shown any  not concern over  protecting the banking sector against the verbal attacks and  did not care about the economic plan that was submitted by the economy minister (Hakim),” Gemayel said

“This government has become uncontrollable and detrimental” to the interests of the country, Gemayel said on Tuesday.

“Its existence is worse than its inexistence. Nothing justifies our participation,” he told a news conference.

“Our presence in the government is useful when we manage to stop corruption and benefit the Lebanese, but should our presence cease to serve the interest of the Lebanese then it would become unnecessary,” Gemayel added.



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