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Ambassadors Praise Lebanon PM’s Rejection of Quotas

Ambassadors Praise Lebanon PM’s Rejection of Quotas

Saturday, 4 April, 2020 - 09:45
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab speaks during a televised address to the nation at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon March 7, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
Beirut - Khalil Fleihan

The representatives of members of the Support Group for Lebanon have praised Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s rejection of political quota, especially in the latest controversial dispute on the appointments of civil sector employees.

The appointments of the deputies to the Central Bank (BDL) governor and the members of the Banking Supervisory Authority triggered a dispute among political parties, with some threatening to resign from the cabinet if their demands were not met.

In response, Diab lashed out at the bickering parties, reminding them that he was leading a cabinet of technocrats which has no room for political quotas.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity, a European ambassador hailed the prime minister’s remarks, in addition to his decision to reduce the salaries of the new deputies of the BDL governor and the members of both the Banking Supervision Authority and the Financial Markets Authority.

The leader of Marada movement, former minister Sleiman Franjieh, also praised the premier’s move, saying on Twitter: “We have said in the past that we reject shares in the appointments.”

During Thursday’s cabinet session, Diab withdrew the item from the agenda to avoid paralyzing the government over the dispute on the appointments.

Franjieh hoped that Diab would prioritize competence through a thoughtful and transparent academic mechanism in any future appointments.

As for the political parties which were purportedly seeking shares in the appointments, the European ambassador asked: “What will the response of those affected by [Diab’s move], especially the Free Patriotic Movement and Speaker [Nabih] Berri, be?”

The diplomat warned that any possible collapse of the government would jeopardize the country, as Lebanon “needs an active cabinet to engage with the international community.”

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