Gemayel Says Confiscation of Decision-Making Power Is Jeopardizing Lebanon

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Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel said that the U.S. as well as all the Arab and European countries that have always supported Lebanon are now issuing threats and warnings because a certain faction has tightened its grip over the country and dragged it into a whole new positioning.

“We’ve repeatedly warned that this would disrupt ties with most countries, and that is exactly what's currently happening,” Gemayel said during an event held in Bickfaya to pay tribute to partisans who have been members of the Kataeb party for more than 50 years.

“Some want to seize control of the country and confiscate its decision-making power. We are still present and raising our voices for sovereignty and independence because there is a faction that managed, thanks to foreign weapons and funds, to impose its will on all the Lebanese,” Gemayel noted.

“There are people who ask why we have chosen to join the opposition ranks, and, what is more dangerous, find a justification for everything just to hide their surrender," he said. "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

“How can we not see that a faction was behind shutting down the Parliament for two and a half years in order to force the election of a certain candidate for president? How can we not see that a faction imposed the election law that it wants so that it gets the majority of seats in the Parliament? How can we not see that a faction set conditions to form the government?"

Turning to the Syrian refugee crisis, Gemayel said that those who are today using this issue for political outbidding by demanding their return are the same ones who were in power when the influx began and 1.5 million refugees accessed Lebanon between 2011 and 2013.

"Back then, we suggested the establishment of border refugee camps to prevent them from spreading across the country and limit their presence in one area. They refused this proposal, thus causing the refugees to become uncontrollably everywhere."

“We ask those who are proposing to sit down for talks with the Syrian regime to find a solution: Will Syrian President Bachar Assad bring back the refugees just to do the Lebanese a favor? Will this problem be solved just by communicating with him?"

“It is time that other countries bear the burden with us. If they are incapable of repatriating the refugees, then they should assume their responsibility by resettling because the situation in Lebanon cannot be kept unchanged,” Gemayel concluded.