Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel on Sunday renewed his call for the Lebanese to take stand up for their convictions and carry their will of change to the ballot boxes, asking them to vote conscientiously.
“The propaganda that says that the people can change nothing in the country is a malicious scheme to prevent the Lebanese from casting their ballots,” he said during the Kataeb's platform launching ceremony.
“We are only asking you to make the right choice and resort to your conscience once you are standing inside the voting booth,” he said in an address to the Lebanese. “Vote based on what your mind tells you to do.”
“You have all witnessed the achievements that we accomplished with just five lawmakers. Therefore, we are today asking you to renew their trust in us,” he said.
“Many people are asking why the Kataeb is running the polls alone. We are alone because we were the only ones who did not deceive the people or lie to them. We represent the viewpoints of the silent majority of the Lebanese. So our political rivals are standing alone, not us,” Gemayel said affirmed.
“We have committed to the platform that we presented to the Lebanese ahead of the 2009 polls. We did not renege on any of the pledges we made,” Gemayel assured, noting that the Kataeb's has decided to develop its 2018 platform by including in it 131 planks and practical steps that serve the country's interest.
“The platform includes very basic ideas and rights that the Lebanese should have had a long time ago,” Gemayel deplored. "In fact, we were ashamed to include so many ideas that are deemed as basic and fundamental in any country. Is it acceptable that in 2018 we are still pledging to secure full power supply away from corruption and to address the waste crisis? Is it acceptable that in 2018 we are still calling for the preservation of public freedoms and demanding that journalists do not get jailed?"
“We did not fear to include controversial and contentious stances in our platform, notably the issue of illegal arms and neutrality," he stressed. "In fact, it is neutrality what keeps Lebanon stable, not settlements which compel someone to abandon his constants and values."
“We did not hesitate to propose the introduction of optional civil marriage in Lebanon, knowing that this issue has been also stirring controversy,” the Kataeb chief pointed out.
“All slogans and platforms would remain just a mere ink on paper if there are no honorable and upright people to carry them; therefore, we need lawmakers who truly believe in the country and seeks its welfare above all else,” Gemayel stressed.
“We want to prove in the upcoming polls that the Lebanese can enforce accountability and revolt against arrogant and dishonest officials because they can neither be taken for granted nor subdue through electoral bribery,” he stated. “We have showed everyone what it means to be a constructive and efficient opposition force that does not fear accountability, and what it means to have the Lebanese people’s best interest favored over our own."
“We want the Lebanese to prove to politicians that they are not above the law and that they cannot easily evade accountability," he urged. "“The Lebanese must put to account anyone who reneges on his pledges and abandons his constants for transient political gains."
“Has the sudden shift in political stances become acceptable? Has the relinquishment of Lebanon's sovereignty become acceptable? Has it become acceptable to abandon the sacrifices of our martyrs?” he asked.
“The day we see all of this acceptable, is the day we will no longer be Kataeb”.
“We took the decision to confront the ruling authority alongside the people and we are aware of the high price we must pay and the repercussions we will endure because of our position,” he noted, adding “if we have accepted to be part of this this flawed and erroneous policy, then what’s the point of standing here and addressing you?”
“We are fighting a very hard battle, because we are confronting a deeply-rooted mentality that has been prevailing over the country for years and because we are facing huge financial capabilities,” he said.
Gemayel pledged that the party will fight the battle for a better Lebanon till the end, adding that it derives its strength from the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country, and the people who believe in the party's convictions and stances.
“We will stand firm even if alone. We want a better country for the generations who will come after us,” he declared. “We will never compromise and we shall prevail."