Bassil Warns of 'Strife', Says Rival Political Parties Exploiting Protests


Free Patriotic Movement chief and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil on Friday warned that the ongoing mass protests might descend into “chaos” and “civil strife,” as he lamented that some political parties are exploiting the demos to topple the presidency, the government and the parliament.

“What happened is the result of accumulating crises and failures,” Bassil said in a televised address from the Baabda Palace after meeting with President Michel Aoun.

“What’s happening may be a chance and it also may turn into a big disaster and might plunge us into chaos and strife,” Bassil warned.

“Some domestic parties are exploiting the honest popular protests to achieve their goals of toppling the presidency, the government and the parliament,” Bassil added, in a possible reference to the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party and the Kataeb Party.

Noting that “people have the right to demonstrate,” Bassil said that Prime Minister Saad Hariri is “ready for reform,” Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is “standing by us” and Speaker Nabih Berri is “keen on the Baabda economic paper.”

“It is enough to show the people that we are serious,” he added.

“I'm willing to ask our ministers and MPs to lift their immunity and bank secrecy,” he suggested.

Pointing out that there is still “a rescue opportunity within a few days” and “without empty promises,” Bassil said the government parties “must meet and work despite the presence of the people on the streets.”

Bassil also warned that the alternative to the current government is “ambiguous” and “might be much worse than the current situation, especially in the absence of a government,” cautioning that a “known and unknown fifth column” might infiltrate the protests and trigger “chaos” and “strife.”

“What's happening on the streets is not targeted against us; it is rather in harmony with our demands,” he said.

“The coming will be worse unless things are addressed,” Bassil warned, noting that unrest could carry with it a financial meltdown and a currency devaluation.

Comments 12
Missing cedaris 18 October 2019, 18:13

The country needs to be cleansed of all of this political class across ALL sects and political groups. This lowlife now has hundreds of millions of dollars from illicit means and has the gall to challenge the legitimacy of an uprising of hungry people.
They let the government incur debt knowing they would divert the funds to their personal accounts.

Missing cedaris 18 October 2019, 18:19

Thieving misogynist deserves jail time

Thumb gebran_sons 18 October 2019, 18:24

Since 2005, Lebanon should have been the Singapore of the ME & Dubai of international business and regional headquarter of foreign corporations due to its human resources, education system, democratic system, plurality, entrepreneurial spirit, climate, sophistication and worldwide connections. The reason we are bankrupt, gradually loosing freedom, democracy and independence has one source: Hizbollah and those supporting it notably Bassil party. The economic cost of Hizbollah is in the hundreds of billions after causing the exodus of international corporations, made long term investment impossible, threatened our Gulf neighbors and behaved as the attack dog for Iran’s expansionist policies ready to sacrifice Lebanon at any moment as in 2006. It enslaved the Shia community in a radical culture foreign to Lebanon. Only one possible solution: Hizbollah or Federalism to safeguard future generation from this foreign agent.

Thumb thepatriot 18 October 2019, 18:39

100% gebran!

Thumb extraterrestrial.alien 18 October 2019, 18:25

Sure, when Hezballah's supporters riot it's legitimate but when the FPM's rivals supporters and regular citizens demonstrate, it's exploitation. IMHO it all started as a power play by Hezbollah as a result of this frog thinking he's an ox. Went they deem message received, Hassan Nasrallah will make a televised appearance and call for calm, and there will be calm.

Thumb enterprise 18 October 2019, 18:35

this man should be executed

Missing samiam 18 October 2019, 18:36

“I'm willing to ask our ministers and MPs to lift their immunity and bank secrecy,” he suggested.

Not enough and frankly, too little too late---all elected officials and member of the cabinet should have their bank secrecy lifted. These guys make money while the Lebanese people suffer. The current ruling class will never fight corruption---they are drowning in it and don't want to do anything.

Also, let's put in term limits (no more barrys), let them travel on commercial airlines instead of their private ones, cut their salaries and benefits by 90% and then maybe we can rebuild.

Missing cedaris 18 October 2019, 18:45

I agree with you but all politicians are rotten. Not just Hezballah.
Sweetheart deals on contracts. Bribes. Front-running and insider trading.
Shame on all of them. Khalas ba2a

Thumb libanaisresilient 18 October 2019, 19:06

Well said.

Thumb gebran_sons 18 October 2019, 21:34

Correct, the Cedar Revolution was an extraordinary event, very rare throughout history by the proportion of people who participated, its grass root ideas, and being based on principles not leaders. The problem is that politicians misappropriated its slogans but never lived up to its principles and call for reformation. The days Lebanese vote for principles not leaders is the day were most of our problems will be set on right path to be solved. I blame Lebanese for keep supporting the same incompetent leaders!

Thumb s.o.s 18 October 2019, 18:47

آمين يارب العالمين

Thumb thepatriot 18 October 2019, 19:13

” Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is “standing by us” and Speaker Nabih Berri is “keen on the Baabda economic paper.”

I am sick to my stomach!!!!! Tfehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......