Saade: Government Would Have No Excuse to Disregard Power Plan Appeal

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Saade: Government Would Have No Excuse to Disregard Power Plan Appeal

Kataeb leader's legal adviser, Lara Saade, said that the critical phase the country is going through requires more transparency and stricter supervision when dealing with public funds, adding that mismanagement in the public sector justifies the need for uncompromising law enforcement.

In an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio station, Saade stressed that the challenge submitted by the Kataeb bloc along with seven other lawmakers does not obstruct the government's power plan, noting that it rather specifies the way it should be implemented.

"If approved, the challenge would impose the respect of the Constitution and the laws throughout the legal framework and mechanism that must be applied in the tenders," Saade explained.

"If validated, the challenge would also compel the formation of a regulatory body to manage the electricity sector. That is exactly what we need the most: an independent body which would monitors the sector away from political bickering and the state of instability that jolts the government every now and then," she added

"The challenge would safeguard the role of each state institution in the tendering process and, therefore, protect public money and welfare. The most important thing is that the appeal will ensure supervision and audit throughout the plan's phases, and secure transparency and free competitiveness at a lower cost."

The government would have no excuse to reject the adoption of transparency unless it is seeking illicit gains from tenders and, thus, evading the application of laws in order to serve the personal interests of some of its members.

Saade stressed that resorting to the Constitutional Council is part of the legislative process, deploring the fact that it is now regarded as an "exceptional" move.

"Unfortunately, the Lebanese are getting used to not resorting to constitutional institutions," she said. "The failure to enforce the laws is impeding the state's functioning."

Saade pointed out that the power plan violates mainly the Article 36 of the Constitution which stipulates that votes in Parliament should be cast verbally or by the members rising and sitting, except in case of elections when the ballot shall be secret.

With respect to laws in general, the vote shall always be taken by roll-call and in an audible voice; something that did not take place during the ratification of the plan in the Parliament.

The Constitutional Council suspended the taxes law in 2017 based on this same violation, she noted.

Saade said that the plan also goes against Article 89 of the Constitution which clearly states that "no obligation nor concession to exploit the natural resources of the country, nor any service of public utility, nor any monopoly may be granted except according to law and for a limited time."

The power plan has failed to set out any law according to which tenders will be held and has thus created a legal vacuum she pointed out.