Electricity Logjam Continues as Miqati Calls Safadi, Meets Bassilإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The standoff over the issue of electricity continued on Monday, despite a meeting between Prime Minister Najib Miqati and Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil and phone talks between the premier and Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi.
Bassil said he discussed “several issues with the prime minister,” noting that he did not tackle the issue of electricity with him.
Meanwhile, Al-Manar television the meeting between the two “failed to end the dispute over the issue of electricity” and that the minister was “preparing to respond tomorrow (Tuesday) to the remarks voice by the premier” on Sunday.
The TV network also revealed that Miqati and Safadi had held phone talks recently without managing to break the deadlock.
“I will vote in favor of leasing power-generating vessels. We may have different points of view, but there is no political dispute with Miqati,” Safadi told Al-Manar.
The TV network reported that Miqati and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun “have been in contact through messages sent by the premier to Rabiyeh,” noting that Miqati intends to “personally contact General Aoun in order to discuss the latest developments.”
For its part, OTV said “the issue of electricity will be put to a vote in cabinet if no agreement is reached,” as LBC television quoted Miqati’s sources as saying that discussions “are not deadlocked.”
“We don't think there will be a vote on Wednesday because all parties want to reach a solution,” Miqati’s sources told LBC.
Bassil had proposed two offers by Turkish and American firms for leasing power-generating vessels to the Lebanese state, but Miqati has voiced reservations following an initial approval.
Miqati has suggested an alternative plan under which a tender would be held with the aim of providing 500 to 1,000 megawatts of electricity through establishing new, advanced power plants.
The premier on Sunday stressed that his alternative plan does not have political motives, noting that the cabinet would have the final say over the issue.