I have engaged in politics with the aim of contributing to building a modern and civil State open to all communities and embracing all social categories, especially the most vulnerable ones. Despite the constant crises, I have strived to solve major problems facing the Lebanese citizens:
I submitted a draft law that was passed last year by the parliament, and which could solve the electricity problem and address the issues of power outages, the double electrical bill, the treasury deficit and the air pollution. This law is based on involving the private sector by granting it electricity generating licenses according to the terms and conditions set by the government.
Based on this law, we noticed that the private sector has conducted studies for the establishment of power-generating projects, while preserving the exclusive right for Electricity of Lebanon. One of these studies was submitted last month before the Council of Ministers. Founded on scientific indicators, the study guarantees to ensure 24-hour power supply, bridge the shortfall in the electrical capacity of Industrialists and reduce the electric bill by 37%.
I have also submitted a draft law aimed at fighting extreme poverty, noting that more than three hundred thousand Lebanese citizens live with less than 2 USD per day. This initiative is not only a humanitarian obligation but also a political and security one, since the poorest regions are also the ones lacking stability. This proposal is likely to eradicate extreme poverty, given that it ensures schooling for children, and vocational training for parents to help them engage in productive jobs and improve their living conditions. The proposal got the support of most political parties and leaders who pledged to vote in its favour.
At the local level, we have established, following the parliamentary elections, a joint office for Tripoli’s MPs, with the objective of keeping the social and development issues aside from the political disparities. We have also set with the MPs of Tripoli a comprehensive development plan focused on creating job opportunities for the young generations.
This new approach was put into action through various projects that can be implemented by the private sector. The greatest one is the Tripoli waterfront project that is likely to breathe life into the economy of Tripoli, reactivate tourism in the North, improve the image of the city and create thousands of job opportunities, noting that any citizen may invest in this project with the same conditions as the founders. Most importantly, a large part of the project’s profits, i.e. around 200 million dollars will be invested in charitable, social, environmental, and residential schemes in Tripoli.
This project has been carefully studied to take into account the concerns of the civil community, notably with respect to the environment. A decree was drafted in order to be submitted to the government, whenever the political will is made available. Despite my crucial role in this project, I have confirmed on many occasions that I won’t invest in this project, and my role will end when the project is launched and put on the safe track.
I have also strived to habilitate the young generations through Maurice Fadel Prize that gathers each time more than 100 teams from the north.
In addition, I endeavoured to improve Tripoli’s image through several activities, notably “Tripoli, a car-free city” an initiative held under the auspices of the President of the Republic who visited AlMina for the first time since the mandate of President of Charles Helou.
I have also insisted on providing education to vulnerable children by offering yearly scholarships to around 2000 children, regardless of their political or religious affiliations.
These ambitious initiatives have come up against the weakness of the State authority and the Law. I noticed through my parliamentary experience how confessionalism, quotas and poor political practices are destroying the foundations of the modern state.
The competent Minister refused to implement the electricity law that was ratified by the parliament, giving many excuses, ignoring the will of the people and state to reform this sector. As for the figure that summarizes this crime, it is an annual deficit that goes beyond 2 billion USD while the government is incapable of financing the wage scale, supplying the army with weapons and handling extreme poverty and other expenses and vital investments.
My proposal on fighting extreme poverty was interrupted in the parliamentary committees due to the extended obstructions in the constitutional institutions, and was considered an unnecessary legislation, as if the subsistence of 300 thousands Lebanese citizens that are unable to satisfy their vital needs, was not as important as the traffic laws, or some loans or even the Budget!
Political disputes brought down the joint office of Tripoli’s MPs, and the waterfront project is still awaiting the support of all leaders.
Today, one year after the presidential vacancy, and after the second Parliament term extension, I see no elections in the near future, and no legislation under process.
In this case, what is the advantage of staying in the parliament watching and conspiring with all the people who are pushing Lebanon to the bottom?
The first step I took after the mandate extension was giving up my parliamentary salary. However today, I refuse to remain in the parliament at the expense of people’s misery. I will spare no effort trying to save the Lebanese people from this vicious and destroying circle. I am not claiming that I am capable of achieving alone this mission that needs either a miracle or a strong will as well as a serious and strict position. Thus, I will consider serious and practical steps to escape this depressing stagnation and will announce them in the upcoming days.