Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel and MP Paula Yaacoubian on Thursday announced that they will submit a new draft law on bank secrecy aimed at curbing corruption and control bribery in the public sector.
“The draft law that was submitted to the Parliament was made in a way to remain unapproved because it has complicated mechanisms; it is a stillborn proposal," Gemayel said during a joint press conference with Yaacoubian at the Parliament.
"We have reformulated the existing draft law in a way that does not allow it to be contested before the Constitutional Council. We have facilitated its mechanisms and included in it political parties and their heads as well as contractors,” he explained.
“Influence peddling will not be curbed unless bank secrecy is lifted off companies and contractors that are dealing with the government."
“We hope that the draft law gets ratified as soon as possible so that we put an end to outbidding. We also hope that the voting would be done by roll call so that people would know who voted in favor of it and those who did not,” he stressed.
“By proposing this draft law, we are committing to the Kataeb's electoral platform in which we pledged to work on this issue," Gemayel affirmed.
For her part, Yaacoubian highlighted that the draft law is aimed at boosting transparency, noting that it is more expanded than the one put forth by the Free Patriotic Movement as it includes more people and officials whose bank accounts should be disclosed.
“According to the draft law, everyone involved in the public service and anyone who takes part in public tenders should be subject to the lifting of bank secrecy,” Yaacoubian stated.
"The draft law also reduces the bank guarantee from LBP10 million to just LBP1 million," she added.
Turning to the lingering waste management crisis, Gemayel warned against an environmental disaster in the summer should this problem remains unaddressed, pledging to keep up confronting shady deals.
“The country is heading towards an environmental disaster amid plans to expand the existing landfills,” he warned, condemning the ruling authority's failure to keep its decentralization promises.
“It is as if they are waiting until we reach a dead end so they force us to accept the de facto reality of landfills expansion,” he said.
Yaacoubian also slammed the Parliament for not passing the law pertaining to garbage sorting, adding that it would have spared a large amount of waste being landfilled.
“I have been in touch with the Minister of Environment and he is willing to advocate sorting. Had we started three years ago, the situation wouldn’t have been as catastrophic as it is today. It is the lawmakers' duty to pass the waste sorting law,” she added.
“I hope that words would be turned into actions by accelerating the endorsement of laws that are necessary to save the country,” she concluded.