Gemayel Says Power Plan Violates Principle of Public Accountability

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Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel on Thursday criticized the power plan that was approved by the government earlier this week, saying that it encloses a blatant violation of the concept of accountability and the basic tendering rules.

"The way the Tenders Department was included in the plan is nothing but a major illusion," Gemayel said following a meeting with a delegation from the Progressive Socialist Party at the Kataeb's headquarter in Saifi.

"The Energy Ministry will be the one setting out the tender conditions and reviewing the bids. The Tenders Department's role would be only to host this process," he noted.

"We must remain watchful and pay close attention to everything that happens with regard to this file, because we will stay unsure of this plan's transparency as long as no EDL administration board and a regulatory body are appointed, and the laws on accountability as well as the partnership between the private and public sectors are not respected."

"We fear what is going to happen and hope that things would be straightened out during the upcoming Parliament session scheduled on Wednesday," he said.

Gemayel warned of the price that the country will have to pay for the many failures being witnessed and the illusory victories that are being proclaimed.

"Ensuring a 24-hour power supply is the easiest thing that any country in the world can achieve. In Lebanon, we speak about this issue as if we are discussing the launch of a rocket into space," he said.

"The question that needs to be answered today is the following: How are we going to get a non-stop power supply? What will be the price for that?"

Gemayel was speaking following a meeting with a PSP delegation that included former Minister Marwan Hamadeh, MPs Hadi Abu Al-Hassan and Faysal Sayegh, PSP's Secretary-General Zafer Nasser, MP Taymour Jumblat's advisor Hussam Harb and economic expert Mohamad Basbous.

Talks focused on the economic plans put forth by the Kataeb party and PSP, with both sides agreeing to maintain contacts in order to foster coordination on common viewpoints.

The meeting was also attended by MP Elias Hankache, former MP Fady Al-Haber, Kataeb's Secretary Nazar Najarian, head of the Economic and Social Council Jean Tawile and the Kataeb leader's adviser Lara Saade.