Gemayel: Rift Not Sectarian but between Thugs, Decent People


Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel announced Sunday that "the rift in Lebanon is not sectarian or between certain regions but rather between thugs and decent people."

Gemayel voiced his remarks during a Forum de Beyrouth ceremony to launch Kataeb's electoral campaign, calling on the Lebanese to "be the pulse of change on May 6."

"The elections are a chance for all Lebanese to build a new Lebanon," Gemayel noted.

"Our scream today is a scream of anger. The screams that officials are witnessing on the streets stem from people's pain. It is a real scream because people's suffering is real. It is the scream of decent people, regardless whether they are Muslim or Christian," the young leader said.

He added: "The rift in Lebanon is not sectarian or between certain regions, but rather between thugs and decent people, between those who believe in the state and those who believe in the law of the jungle."

The country had witnessed sectarian tensions between Shiites and Christians last week in the wake of leaked remarks by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil against Speaker Nabih Berri.

In the leaked video, Bassil calls Berri a "thug" and vows to "break his head."

The footage drew the ire of Berri's aides and political allies, who lashed out at Bassil, with Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil calling the foreign minister "lowly" and a "political dwarf."

The video also sparked three days of protests and unrest that reached the extent of encircling the Free Patriotic Movement's headquarters in Sin el-Fil. The aforementioned incident and another in the town of Hadath witnessed gunfire as supporters and officials of the FPM and Berri's AMAL Movement traded accusations about who was behind the shooting.

The FPM has however acknowledged that its HQ's guards had fired in the air to defend the building.

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