Aoun Holds onto President's Election by the People, Calls for Demo Next Fridayإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun reiterated on Friday his call for the election of a president from the people as he announced his backing for protests, but said he only partly agreed with anti-government demonstrators who accuse the entire political class of corruption.
During a press conference he held at his residence in Rabieh, Aoun also invited the supporters of his Free Patriotic Movement to carry out a protest next Friday “to ask for reform and for participation in decision-making, and to call for fighting corruption.”
The demonstration is scheduled to be held at 5:30 pm in downtown Beirut's Martyrs Square.
“Legitimacy is given to the authorities by the people,” he said, adding “no ruler can be legitimate if the people don't recognize his legitimacy.”
Aoun reiterated his demand for the election of a president by the people and called for the approval of an electoral law based on proportional representation.
He also urged the formation of a government that introduces reforms.
“This is the only reformist plan,” said the lawmaker, who is also a presidential candidate.
He told reporters that Lebanon's rulers have lost the people’s backing because of rampant corruption, which is “blocking the state's arteries.”
Aoun also urged friendly countries not to interfere in Lebanon's internal affairs to back the rulers whom he says have lost legitimacy.
“We are glad that the people woke up and began demanding their rights,” he said, as he announced his backing for the latest street protests.
But he stressed that he only partly agreed with the demonstrators because unlike what they claim there are reformist politicians in Lebanon.
Street protests against the government have turned violent after several movements turned a trash crisis, which erupted last month, into a popular uprising against the political class that has dominated Lebanon since its civil war ended in 1990.
The “You Stink” movement is organizing another protest in downtown Beirut on Saturday, but Aoun said his supporters would not take part in the demonstration.
Aoun was asked about the boycott of FPM, Hizbullah, Tashnag Party and Marada Movement ministers of Thursday’s cabinet session and whether they would hold onto their stance not to attend sessions.
“There are discussions to resolve the cabinet crisis,” he said, adding that he didn't address the issue during the press conference to avoid stirring tension.