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FPM Threatens to Topple Lebanese Govt. over Corruption, Refugee Files

FPM Threatens to Topple Lebanese Govt. over Corruption, Refugee Files

Sunday, 17 March, 2019 - 11:00
Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil speaks during a meeting in Rome, Italy, November 15, 2017. (Reuters)

Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) continued to threaten to topple the government over the files of corruption, electricity and the displaced, which led to a political dispute between its members and the Future Movement, of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab and former Economy Minister Raed Khoury both hinted that the movement would impede government work if the issues of electricity and return of the displaced Syrians to their country were not settled immediately.

Foreign Minister and FPM chief Jebran Bassil had originally warned that his movement would no longer tolerate a continuous stalling in resolving these contentious issues.

In light of the FPM’s commitment to the option of resorting to power-generating ships to resolve the electricity crisis – an option rejected by Hariri and the Future bloc - Bou Saab said on Saturday: “The lack of a solution to the electricity file means there is no government.”

He remarked, however, that the FPM was opposed to the ships as a permanent solution, but as a way to secure electricity until Lebanon’s power plants are rehabilitated.

Khoury, for his part, warned that the new government was threatened to fail, saying in a television interview: “If we cannot resolve the electricity file within a month or two, the government will fall…”

“If Bassil and the president saw that matters were not going the right direction, either a ministerial change will take place or the government will collapse. Hariri has an interest in activating the Council of Ministers.”

In response, Future Movement official Mustafa Alloush told the National News Agency (NNA) that the escalatory statements could compromise the rule of President Michel Aoun, “whose success Hariri is trying to ensure.”

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