Gemayel Hints at Resignation from Cabinet if 'Obstruction Persists' during Tuesday's Session
Head of the Kataeb Party MP Sami Gemayel stressed on Monday that the cabinet will be facing a “test,” during its extraordinary session on Tuesday, if "the obstruction by some of its members continues."
He declared in a statement after the party's weekly politburo meeting: “We see no point in remaining in cabinet if the obstruction continues in tomorrow's meeting.”
The cabinet is scheduled to convene to tackle waste management tenders that were announced earlier on Monday to address the country's protracted garbage disposal crisis.
“I have relayed the Kataeb Party's position to Prime Minister Tammam Salam and former President Michel Suleiman, whom I met earlier on Monday,” continued Gemayel.
“We will facilitate decisions at cabinet because it is not acceptable for some sides to keep on paralyzing the country,” he added.
“The people cannot be forced to pay the price of such tactics,” he stated.
“We cannot act as false witnesses to practices that are crippling the cabinet,” the lawmaker said.
Addressing the civil society demonstrations that were held over the weekend over the waste disposal crisis, Gemayel said: “The rallies gave us hope that there is a drive for change in Lebanon.”
“We consider ourselves part of those people who are raising their voice against the current situation in Lebanon,” he stressed.
He voiced his support for the civil society campaign, urging it to continue its peaceful demonstrations and be wary of attempts to veer it off its course.
He remarked however that the resignation of the cabinet will not achieve the civil society's demands for a system change in Lebanon.
“Such a change starts with the election of a president, the consequent resignation of the current cabinet, eventual adoption of a new parliamentary electoral law, and the staging of the polls,” explained Gemayel.
“What is the point of the resignation of the cabinet if the same electoral law will ensure the election of the same political class?” he wondered.
“Accountability can be achieved through a new law” and the election of new political figures, the MP noted.
“Change can only be achieved through state institutions,” he stressed.
Cabinet will convene on Tuesday morning to address the trash disposal tenders.
Violence erupted on Sunday during a protest of the “You Stink” campaign that was demonstrating against Lebanon's waste disposal crisis and prolonged political deadlock.
It had held two demonstrations over the weekend.
Sunday's protest took a violent turn, which the campaign blamed on “political thugs,” who started fighting the police deployed at the scene of the protest at Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut.
The campaign pulled its supporters off the streets once the unrest erupted.
The thugs tried to tear down a barbed wire fence separating the crowds from the Grand Serail and threw molotov cocktails on security forces.
The violence sparked battles, which left scores injured.
The Internal Security Forces stated Monday that 32 rioters have been arrested.