Change and Reform Accuses Jumblat of 'Narrow Calculations', Urges Talking to Syria on Refugeesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Change and Reform bloc led by MP Michel Aoun on Tuesday accused Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat of approaching the issue of presidential elections according to “narrow calculations,” as it urged Lebanese authorities to communicate with Damascus over the “unbearable” refugee crisis.
“Public voting by people is the peak of democracy and there are mechanisms to implement our democracy in this regard,” former labor minister Salim Jreissati said after the bloc's weekly meeting, reciting a written statement.
He was referring to Aoun's recent suggestion on electing a new president through a popular rather than a parliamentary vote as a way to end the presidential deadlock.
“Enough with confusion and veiled obstruction of the presidential elections, given what we have heard about withdrawing a candidate in return for the withdrawal of other candidates, which is equivalent to narrow calculations in a crucial juncture such as the presidential vote," Jreissati added.
In remarks to As Safir newspaper published Tuesday, Jumblat had said he was ready to pull the candidacy of Aley MP Henri Helou if the other candidates agree to also leave the race, in reference to Aoun and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
Turning to the issue of the Syrian refugee crisis, Jreissati said "it would be more appropriate to use the term migrants for the Syrians in Lebanon, because displaced and refugees are legal terms that we cannot bear."
"Taking in refugees is an issue to be defined by the Syrian state, which we are not in a state of war with and with whom we should cooperate," the ex-minister added, wondering if it's "reasonable that there is no Lebanese-Syrian committee on the issue of refugees."
"The migration is happening in both directions, which makes it an economic migration, the thing that means that there are safe areas inside Syria," he noted.
Separately, Jreissati pointed out that "security is the responsibility of the government and its military and political authorities are not suffering any vacancies."
"Accusations that those practicing obstruction in politics are also obstructing security are rejected," he went on to say.
On the recent contoversy over the issue of the Lebanese University, Jreissati said "the discussion must rise above the distribution of shares while maintaining the standards of appointing deans and full-time professors."
He also called for keeping legislation free of "any factional interests or objectives."
"What about the laws of denaturalizing ineligible individuals and the urgent financial bills? The higher interest cannot be segregated," Jreissati added.