Aoun: Corruption threatens economy, other state institutions in Lebanon

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Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Thursday that settlements prepared for the region threaten the stability and existence of all.

On Thursday night President Michel Aoun said in a speech to mark Lebanon’s 76th Independence Day the protests had broken some “taboos,” and spurred the judiciary to act against corruption.

President Aoun said that corruption threatens the country’s economy and other institutions.

“I reiterate my call to the demonstrators to know their demands,” he said. He called on the judges to do their duty and fight corruption. “We count on the justice system to curb corruption.”

“Let us make this year the de facto independence law to establish a civil state,” the Lebanese president added, noting that the talk on the street has ignored one of the biggest dangers to Lebanon.

Aoun said, “Seventy-six years have passed since Lebanon became an independent homeland and went through difficult stages in which to safeguard its independence. Independence is a free national decision that is not subject to any form of guardianship, whether explicit or persuasive.

“Our emphasis on the independence of Lebanon does not mean antagonism or antagonism to anyone, based on our free decision and the peer-to-peer relationship which is acceptable and suits our country. If politics is the art of the possible, it is also the rejection of the unacceptable.”

Aoun said the formation of a new government had been delayed because of “political contradictions” governing Lebanese politics.

Under Lebanon’s constitution the president must launch parliamentary consultations to name a new premier, but no date for such talks has been announced.

Forming a government in Lebanon typically takes months, with protracted debate on how best to maintain a fragile balance between the various religious communities.

Protesters are demanding a new government of technocrats not affiliated to traditional political parties.

Lebanon’s economy is under severe strain after a series of political crises compounded by the eight-year war in neighboring Syria, and youth unemployment stands at more than 30 percent.

- With AFP

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