Hariri Says Bassil's Remarks Prove He's 'Shadow President'
Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri said recent remarks by Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil prove that he is the country’s “shadow president.”
“If he is the one who decides when I would return (to power), this proves what I said about him being the shadow president,” Hariri told reporters when asked about Bassil’s remarks.
He was speaking after a meeting for Mustaqbal’s Central Council.
“We will not evade responsibility; we will rather bear it,” Hariri said.
He noted that “the incidents at the banks and the attack on the central bank governor reflect the people’s pain,” but decried that “some parties are distorting the facts as to why we reached this state.”
Responding to those who lament that Lebanon’s economy is a rentier one, Hariri said: “Banks have borrowed the private sector $55 billion, is this a rentier economy?”
“The main problem in the country is that over the past 15 years, half of Lebanon’s debt was for providing electricity. Why did we have to borrow money for electricity? Here lies the responsibility,” Hariri added.
“I’m not like others. I don’t evade my responsibility like those who are saying that Hariri bears the political responsibility,” he went on to say.
As for the calls for rescheduling Lebanon’s public debt, Hariri said: “If there is a plan, anything can be done, but what’s important is the plan.”
Hariri also dismissed media reports claiming that his relation with Saudi Arabia is not good.