Gemayel Deems Current Challenge as Lebanese, National, Not Sectarian

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Gemayel Deems Current Challenge as Lebanese, National, Not Sectarian

Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel blamed all those who have taken part in the presidential settlement, accusing them of dragging the country to the phase it has reached today.

“We were the only party who has refused the election of Michel Aoun as a President. We have stood up against the settlement, faced everyone who defied us and warned against handling the country to Hezbollah which is considered today as the main reason behind the country’s collapse,” Gemayel told Al-Nahar.

“Some parties are taking advantage of the sectarian tension so as to stay in the ruling and exert intimidation on the Lebanese people,” he said.

“I don’t think there is a direct security threat on any sectarian group, but rather a challenge faced by every citizen so as to live in a civilized country,” he added, deeming the challenge today as Lebanese, national and not sectarian.

“We shouldn’t cancel diversity under the slogan of building the State.”

Gemayel stressed that all those who have participated in the presidential settlement have a certain logic that the party refuse, saying that the Kataeb has resigned from the government as they knew that no change will be realized.

“We have joined the opposition force convinced that we cannot face the authority while inside the ruling. We have tried to deal with all other parties and improve the performance in both the government and the Parliament because we knew that no change can be achieved in light of such an authority,” he added.

“There are two things that must be done. We have to first complete the confrontation and secondly we have to fight the electoral battle together,” he pointed out.

“Everyone who believes in Lebanon's sovereignty and real change, democracy, accountability, the rule of law and confronting the system is welcome to join the party,” he said.

The Kataeb leader stressed that there is no red line for anyone, saying that the sectarian red lines have destroyed the country, and everyone who wants to enter the political arena must accept being held accountable.

“If Aoun resigns, then the current Parliament will elect another one in its place and will be much worse than the previous one. I do believe that Aoun must resign as soon as a new Parliament is elected so that the Parliament elects a new President,” he noted.

Gemayel blamed all those who were aware about the nitrate presence at the Beirut port, accusing Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab of the explosion.

“Aoun has admitted to having received the report of the Nitrate presence at the port two weeks before the explosion and did nothing, he should have sent a team to take precautionary and preventive measures to protect the site,” he added.

“There is also a responsibility on the Prime Minister, who was supposed to visit the port and canceled his visit.”

Gemayel voiced regret that there is a control over the Lebanese Judiciary, a politicization and a pressure being exerted, affirming that there are mafias working to make people forget the explosion through fake struggles, street and media parades, battles, statements and counter-statements.

“They are using the media conflicts in an attempt to make us forget the economic catastrophe in which they have drowned us in, that they used our deposits and deprived us from our least rights,” he said.

"If we really want to build a new Lebanon, we have to hold accountable all those who dragged us to today’s situation,” he said.